Wednesday 13 December 2017

Health check for Lucifer the lion

Lucifer, an Asian lion, has had a health check
Lucifer, an Asian lion, has had a health check

London Zoo keepers and vets braved the jaws of an Asian lion as they gave the 30-stone male a health check.

Keepers trained Lucifer to lean against a wall so he could be anaesthetised with a handheld injection, removing the need to use a tranquiliser dart.

Vet Tai Strike gave the 11-year-old a thorough examination while he lay in his enclosure, including his stomach, chest and even inside his mouth to check Lucifer's razor-sharp teeth.

The lion, named after his studbook number of 666, was given a clean bill of health and is due to move later this week.

Lucifer is moving to another breeding group as the Zoological Society of London launches its Lions400 campaign - a public fundraising campaign aiming to raise £5.7 million for the endangered Asian lion.

The campaign will include the building of a state-of-the-art lion breeding centre and visitor experience, as well as the extension of conservation work in the field, where only 400 Asian lions are left in the wild.

Lucifer's female cubs will remain with the zoo to begin a new breeding group, which visitors will be able to see when the new exhibit opens in 2016.

Press Association

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