London Zoo’s pride of three Asian lions has been engaging in the world cup action by playing with their own footballs. The footballs are decorated like the English flag to show the lions support for the English team.
Ruby, five and three year old twins Indi and Heidi were given footballs filled with meaty treats. They chose to forego the fancy footwork instead using their mouths to explore the balls. After a bit of a play the lions were able to eat the meaty treats inside.
Having featured on the England’s soccer shirts since 1872 the lions are big supporters of the team. Unfortunately there are only 400 Asian lions remaining in the Gir forest in India. London Zoo has recently made a commitment to help save these lions.
They have launched Lions400 a new fundraising project which seeks to raise £5.7m to help save the Asian lion. The project will include contributing to conservation projects in India as well as a new breeding compound that is to be created at the London Zoo.
Senior keeper, Paul Kybett expressed the keepers excitement for the project saying ‘As the three lions at the Zoo and the England team embark on their different campaigns, we’re hoping the country will get behind Lions400 as well as the football and help us save this iconic species so future teams can wear them with pride on their shirts.’
The conservation work in India will involve providing technology and veterinary training. They will also be preparing communities as the zoo works to create a new population of lions in another patch of forest.
The lions were given the treats as part of their enrichment program. This looks to make their lives more interesting and to keep the lions entertained.
People can support the Lions400 campaign by going here
Photo Credit: London Zoo