Affectionately named Bronze, Silver and Gold in tribute to Britain’s Olympic hopes, these cuddly lion cubs are all set to be crowned winners by the public.
The adorable four-month-old lions are the star attraction for visitors visiting Knowsley Safari Park in St Helen’s, Merseyside.
The three young boys spent the first few months of their lives in isolation from their mother, Handeya, but have now come out with the rest of their pride, including their father, Kenya.
The furry cats look cute and cuddly enough to cuddle and weigh up to 40kg each and have been entertaining visitors with their playful antics.
Park staff named the cubs in tribute to the London Olympics in order of their hyperactive natures with the subdued Bronze coming in third behind his more playful siblings Silver and Gold, who are constantly running around and exploring their habitat.
Knowsley Safari Park Lion keeper Oli O’Malley, 27, ‘They spent the first three months in an en-suite bedroom with their mom. In the wild, they would spend it hidden in a rock or bush with their mom. Then we introduced them to the bigger cats.
‘Kenya is a perfect dad. He’s had quite a few cubs over the past few years. He is a very patient father. They climbed on his head and wrestled with him, and he just took it all.
‘They’re full of beans. The cubs do indeed fall asleep, but only when they are tired from running around all day. They are very active; they are constantly running around and playing.
‘With the cool breeze coming in, they’ve started to be a lot more active. They sleep a lot in the heat.
‘They’re still suckling a bit. We feed lions as pride less often, but since they are still growing, we provide them beef daily. They are now the size of a large dog, about 40kg.
‘The tourists love them. They’re constantly getting everybody coming past.’
The 550-acre Safari Park boasts an enviable collection of over 700 animals that promise fun for the whole family over the weekend.
The new Birds of Prey experience is set to be an egg-citing hit with visitors who will be able to get up close and personal with the birds to watch vultures feeding, flying displays, and even handle the creatures and witness the hatchings first-hand.
Visitors can spot boisterous baboons in the park’s infamous monkey forest, or take a birds-eye view of the exotic wildlife from the Giraffe Tower and the Elephant Platform, or watch the sea-lions splashing around and performing tricks.
Conservationists will also hold conservation talks on the plight of endangered species in Southeast Asia, including tigers, Asian elephants and orangutans. They will bring visitors to experience what it’s like to take care of these animals.