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Lioness sets record with 8 cubs - despite being on the pill


Miracle ... Five of the eight cubs being fed from a bottle on Tuesday

10/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Tough work ... Staff at wildlife sanctuary have their hands full with the cubs
 
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A LIONESS in Zimbabwe has set a world record by giving birth to EIGHT cubs in a single litter despite being on the PILL.

Dr Hillary Madzikanda, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority's head of scientific services gushed: “This has never happened in the history of lions, the world over. It is actually a world record.”

The previous known highest number of cubs in one litter was recorded in China only in July this year when a lioness gave birth to six cubs.

Dr Madzikanda explained: “Normally, you get two cubs per litter and getting four is even very lucky. This one is a record. It is an achievement for this lioness.

“Surprisingly, the lioness was on a contraceptive pill.”

The lioness, named Pasha, gave birth on November 4 at the Lion and Cheetah Park on the outskirts of Harare, although parks officials only announced the rare event on December 10.

Anthony Newall, the wildlife sanctuary’s general manager, said Pasha had given birth to two cubs earlier this year, and had been immediately put on the pill to control her breeding.

One employee at the Park said: “How Pasha got the eight cubs is still a mystery to everybody.”

Pasha was understandably a little tired and frail after giving birth to such a large litter and was receiving some extra treats to boost her health.

The gamekeepers were also bottle feeding milk to the cubs.
 
Said one worker: “We are suckling them from the bottle each time they wake up from sleep.

“They still need a lot of milk and warmth and we are keeping an eye on them every minute.”


Famous mum ... Pasha in her enclosure on Tuesday



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