Taking Lucknow zoo authorities and visitors by surprise, a two-and-a-half month old lion cub showed ‘exemplary skill’ by jumping over the four feet security fence at the Zoo and began to stroll outside the fence. The cub’s playful act brought the zoo staff on their toes.
The cub, one of the four born at the zoo in September, was put up for public viewing in October and ever since has been roaming with its mother Vasundhara and siblings in the big enclosure.
Everything went fine until Wednesday afternoon when visitors discovered one of them was roaming on the outer side of the fence –- in a two-and-a-half feet space between fence and the moat. How it came out was a big question as there was no space in the fence.Watch | Lion cub makes ‘surprise jump’ at Lucknow zoo
An anxious visitor Alok Rajvanshi immediately informed the authorities. The zoo staff acted but it took them half-an-hour to take cub to safety. They first brought the lioness inside the den and then reached the outer area of the fence to secure the cub.
“Climbing the four feet fence was not expected from the a cub. But it shows they are growing up natuarally and developing natural skills,” said zoo director Anupam Gupta.
He was then quick to take a decision. “The cubs wont be left in the outer area of their enclosure until some measure is put in place. We will decide whether to increase the fence height or do something else to ensure their safety and this in a day or two only,” said Gupta.
The four cubs were born on September 1 to the lioness brought here from Bilaspur zoo. It was after a gap of three decades that cubs were born here. It is also for the first time that all the cubs born to a lioness at this zoo are alive and healthy.
Animal lovers, however, term Wednesday’s incident as an act of negligence by the zoo staff. “The price focus of the zoo authorities is upon improving condition for visitors but animals here remain neglected. They should improve living conditions and safety of animals on zoo campus,” said Kamna Pandey co-opted member Animal Welfare Board of India.