Playing in the autumn leaves, this cub is enjoying the time of her life as she frolics in her enclosure.
Little cub Karis proved she wasn’t too different from human babies when she threw herself into a pile of gold leaves carefully collected by custodians, even ending up in a pile on her head.
Staff at Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling, Scotland, were plowing leaves to keep the attraction tidy when Brian Reid, Karis’ manager, realized the girl might enjoy playing in them and moved stake in her enclosure.
The adventurous 11-week-old cub, born in September, is proving to be a perfect character, with Mr. Reid constantly coming up with new ways to entertain her.
Park manager Gary Gilmour said: “The custodians try to keep things interesting for Karis.
‘Brian Reid, the leader of the lion keeper, has placed a pile of leaves for her to jump in.
“We were raking leaves at the park like you do at this time of year to keep things tidy, and David came up with the idea to pick up leaves and give them to Karis.
‘She loves them, just like any child.
“The managers take advantage of any opportunity to use materials that we have to hand and are available.”
And it wasn’t just Karis, who made the most of autumn; the meerkats at the park, which are closed to guests for the winter, also played in the leaves as they hunted for mealworms to eat.
Mr. Gilmour said that Karis also enjoyed playing with cardboard boxes, although her mother, Teekay is keeping an eye on her naughty cub when she was still very young.
Karis was born on September 10 to Teekay and their father Dudley, along with her older sister Libby, who was born two years ago.
Mr. Gilmour said: “She is doing very well.
“She’s growing up fast, and she’s quite a wee temper on her.
“She just started eating meat now.”
Karis has shied away from the rest of her pride since she was born because her adopters waited until she was a little older. Even though they expected her to be introduced to her fellow lions around Christmas.
Mr. Gilmour said: ‘She’s still staying with her mother, but she’ll be integrating with the group over the next two or three weeks.
“We leave them for three or four months before mixing them to make sure they’re a little bit bigger and more robust.
“She has a big sister Libby who she will be able to play with.”
And winter in Scotland can be a long way from the warm plains of Africa; Mr. Gilmour said the lions were unaffected by falling temperatures.
He said: ‘They are not bothered by the cold of the lions; they even like to play in the snow.’
“They’re just like us, though; if it’s raining and miserable, they’ll go inside.”