Anticipating Easter weekend, zoo keepers at Royal Burgers' Zoo (Arnhem, The Netherlands) treated eight lions to an unusual form of behavioral enrichment. Especially the five lion cubs welcomed the unfertilized swan's eggs as a tasty addition to their normal meals, whereas the male lion seemed to prefer a juicy piece of meat.
Males feed first
Although in nature in most cases the lionesses hunt, the male lion is the first one to feed after the lionesses have managed to kill a prey. At Royal Burgers' Zoo, zoo keepers scatter pieces of meat through the enclosure, so that all lions can feed at the same time after the male lion has claimed the largest piece for itself. In nature, an adult male protects the pride against potential threats and keeps rivals at bay, which attempt to take its throne.
Arnhem's lively lion family
Currently, the lion family living in the Safari of Burgers' Zoo counts eight animals in total: an adult male, two adult females and five cubs in different ages. On 27th July 2020, a lioness gave birth to twins: a male and a female. On 26th November 2020, the other lioness gave birth to triplets: all of them are females. All five cubs will remain in Arnhem for the coming years. In time, the young male will become a rival of its father. At that time, either the adult male, or the young male will have to move to another zoo. In nature, at this point in time, father would simply chase its own son away from the pride.