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Lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrate first birthday

By Dayna Farrington | Bewdley | Wyre Forest entertainment | Published:

Seven lion cubs born at West Midland Safari Park are celebrating their first birthday.

The lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrated their first birthday with gift boxes and the park's adult lions

The youngsters, who were born at the Bewdley-based attraction, were born on August 27 and September 17 last year.

The lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrated their first birthday with gift boxes and the park's adult lions

To celebrate their first birthday, keepers at the park created a range of giant eye-catching, animal-themed gift boxes – filled with tasty treats – which were placed inside the lion reserve. As soon as the cubs left their sleeping quarters, they were instantly drawn to the parcels and spent the morning feasting and playing together.

The lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrated their first birthday with gift boxes and the park's adult lions
The lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrated their first birthday with gift boxes and the park's adult lions

Even the Safari Park's adult lions couldn't resist joining in the birthday fun – rolling around with the cubs.

The lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrated their first birthday with gift boxes and the park's adult lions
The lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrated their first birthday with gift boxes and the park's adult lions

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Kate Atkinson, senior carnivore keeper, said: "All of the cubs have grown in confidence over the past year and it has been great to observe them as they mature and develop.

"The cubs love to have fun destroying things, and all types enrichment – boxes, paper bags or even trees in the reserve – are regularly chewed and ripped apart as part of their play.

“The cubs all interact really well together, and we have been able to see their range of different personalities come out, which has been brilliant. For example, Hercules and Hunter are both very placid boys who really enjoy exploring and seeing what the keepers are up to, but then on the other hand we have Havoc, a playful soul that likes nothing more than fooling around with his older relatives and even trying to push the buttons of his grandmother, Kayli.

"Our females are also flourishing, with Hira bringing the ‘sass’ to the pack and Natty showing her maternal side with her mother Scar.”

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The lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrated their first birthday with gift boxes and the park's adult lions

The two litters of cubs were born to 10-year-old female Scar – mother to Hunter, Hercules and Hernatty – and seven-year-old female Amber – mother to Harabi, Hodge, Havoc and Hira – within three weeks of each other and are all half brothers and sisters.

The seven cubs, made up of five boys and two girls, were first introduced to visitors back in February and have been settling into their new home throughout the year. The male cubs' distinctive manes will start to grow when they reach the age of two, making them easy for guests to recognise.

The lion cubs at West Midland Safari Park celebrated their first birthday with gift boxes and the park's adult lions

Over the coming year, guests will be able to see the cubs on safari as they continue to grow and thrive as part of the park’s African lion pride.

For more information about West Midland Safari Park, visit www.wmsp.co.uk or call 01299 402114.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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