Sunday 23 April 2017

Murray the mane man as lion cub named after Wimbledon champion

Lion cub Murray next to a tennis ball as he is given a health check at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling
Lion cub Murray next to a tennis ball as he is given a health check at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling

An African lion cub born the day before the men's Wimbledon final has been named after champion Andy Murray in recognition of the tennis star's status as "the pride of Scotland".

The adorable male cub - to be known as Murray - is one of four born to lioness Karis, a first-time mother at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling.

A park spokesman said: "We hope Andy will be overjoyed and will come in to meet wee Murray the next time he is home."

Members of the public will be able to suggest names for the other three cubs on the park's Facebook page.

All four cubs proved they were the park's mane attraction when they had their first routine health screening this week.

The three-week-old youngsters, fathered by new lion Zulu, were examined by park vet Colin Scott who sexed, weighed, wormed and microchipped them.

Mr Scott said: "It all went very well and the cubs are all in good health. We are delighted to find out that we have two boys and two girls in the group.

"They all weighed in at around 2.5 kilos and I expect them to double their weight when we come back in four weeks' time to give them their second worm tablet."

Park bosses said it is quite unusual for a lioness to have four cubs in one litter. According to their records, it last happened more than 40 years ago.

Head keeper Brian Reid, who had the task of catching up the cubs for their check-up, said: "Even though they look cute and cuddly, they are feisty - they have quite sharp claws.

"No teeth yet but we can expect them to start appearing by their next check-up. Karis has been an amazing first-time mum and is very protective of the cubs."

British No 1 Murray, who hails from nearby Dunblane, beat Milos Raonic on July 10 to win his second Wimbledon title and his third Grand Slam.

Press Association

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