Tennis Champ Gordon Reid Meets Lion Cub Namesake

28 August 2016, 12:56

Tennis star Gordon Reid has had a roaring send-off to the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

The 24-year-old Wimbledon champion met a lion cub that has been named after him before flying out to Brazil on Monday to compete in the wheelchair tennis.

The Scot, who is ranked second in the world, also dropped off some tennis balls for his namesake to play with on the visit to Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling.

The cub is one of four bred by a lioness at the park last month and named after a public poll.

Reid told the Press Association: ''Obviously it's not something that happens every day getting a little lion cub named after you so it was cool to go in and meet them and have a little cuddle and then have a little play with them as well. I'm still alive so that's the main thing.

''There was one moment where I was trying to get my head down close to it and it took a bit of a jump at me but it was more cute and cuddly than the mum, that's for sure.''

Looking ahead to the competition in Rio, he added: ``I'm excited and looking forward to getting started.

''I don't start until September 9 so I've got quite a while to get over there, acclimatise and carry out the final preparations out in Brazil.

''I'm feeling good, I feel ready and just kind of raring to go.''

The other three lion cubs were given the names Murray, Thistle and Isla and all are said to be doing well.

The four are still subject to routine health checks, but will start to venture out from about eight weeks of age.