|Lioness litters 8 cubs|
|Tuesday, 11 December 2012 00:00|
Isdore Guvamombe Features Editor
doctors are now wondering if the contraceptive administered by the park’s general manager, Mr Anthony Newall backfired.
The world over, lionesses are known to give birth to two cubs at a time and rarely, four. On November 4 2012, the lioness named Pasha, gave birth to eight cubs at the wildlife sanctuary and prime tourist resort, frequented by local and foreign tourists.
Yesterday, National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority head of scientific services Dr Hillary Madzikanda, confirmed the birth, describing it as a world record.
“This has never happened. It has never happened in the history of lions, the world over. It is actually a world record,” he said.
“Normally, you get two cubs per litter and getting four is even very lucky. This one is a record. It is an achievement for this lioness.
“Surprisingly, the lioness was on a contraceptive pill. But this is really a world record.’’
“We are suckling them from the bottle each time they wake up from sleep,” said a senior worker.
“I have worked here for years, but I have never seen this. I think this is the lioness’ second birth.
Mr Newall, referred all questions to the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
A lioness gives birth two or three times a year and it is not rare for wildlife sanctuaries to administer contraceptive pills or injections as a birth control method.
In the wild, lion cubs are born in isolation from the pride and there are usually two to four cubs in a litter.
Their eyes are open, but they cannot see well and are completely dependent on their mothers.
Here, they spend about a year learning skills and strengthening social bonds through play. Cubs are generally tolerated by the whole pride.
In fact, they are cared for by all females rather then just their own mothers.