RARE LION CUBS GET VISIT FROM VET

Any youngster being given their vaccinations might be expected to throw a tantrum, but four feisty lion cubs put on quite a show when they were visited by the vet in Devon.

Any youngster being given their vaccinations might be expected to throw a tantrum, but four feisty lion cubs put on quite a show when they were visited by the vet in Devon. 

The rare lion cubs at Paignton Zoo were receiving their routine vaccinations at nine weeks. The cubs, who are yet to be named, will get their second round of injections at 12 weeks and are then given annual boosters. The procedure may be routine, but it takes a team of five to give the cubs the injections as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Staff at the zoo said it was a thrill to be up close and personal with the cubs, but at the same time they had to follow safety protocols. The keepers wore big leather gauntlets to protect them from the cubs who snarled throughout in disapproval, while the growls of their mother Indu could also be heard from the den. 

Giving the cubs their vaccinations were two members of Paignton Zoo's in-house vet team, Catherine Bergzoll and Celine Campana, plus mammal keepers Helen Neighbour and Dave Rich. Co-ordinating everything was the senior head keeper of mammals Matthew Webb. Ms Bergzoll said: ``We use a cat vaccine - the process is essentially the same as for pet cats. We also give them a thorough exam to check things like their hearts.'' After the cubs were vaccinated, micro-chipped and given a quick health check they were reunited with their protective mother who was prowling just a few metres away.

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