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Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

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Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Cremecat on Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:39 pm

Hi!

The Helsinki Zoo has three Asiatic lions at the moment, and I hope that we will have some more later this year. Last time there was a litter of two cubs in 2011, but unfortunately they both died of some neurological disease when they were about 8 months old. Sad
According to the zoo the lioness will no longer be allowed to get pregnant. In September 2012 a new young lioness Kaly from Bristol Zoo Gardens came to Helsinki, and it looks like the three of them make a nice little pride already.

Here is Kaly with the older lioness:

Kaly - what a beauty!

And last but not least: impressive Mohan


I am quite excited about this; hopefully we'll see babies already this year!

CC
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  littlewid on Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:47 pm

You are right CC, Kaly is beautiful and Mohan is very handsome and it will be wonderful if there are little Asiatic Lion cubs this year lion cub we will have to follow their adventures at Helsinki Zoo and see what happens.
Bristol Zoo is known for supporting breeding programmes and another one of their very famous Asiatic Lions is Tejas, he and his brother were hand reared as their mother failed to raise them, sadly Tejas's brother died but Tejas thrived with his keeper Alan looking after him. Tejas was then sent to Besecona (? the spelling) Zoo in France to continue the breeding of the Asiatic Lions there. He was born back in 2008 so he will be 5 this year so I am sure he will be having cubs of his own, he was a very gorgeous cub.

Thank you for the lovely photos and I look forward to following this story and hopefully Kaly's cubs.

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Cremecat on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:05 pm

I studied a little bit and found some interesting facts.
"In the early 1990s, nine Asian Lions came in to three zoos in Europe. These included four at London Zoo (Males Jake and Arfur, and sisters Chandani and Ruchi), three at Helsinki (Wild-born male Vanaraj, and half sisters Leslie and Kirtida), and two at Zurich (male Bhagirath and female Mena)." (Asian Lion Project)
Kaly's mother was Shiva, who came to Bristol from Besancon (where Tejas moved), and her father was Kamal who was born in Helsinki. Kamal's father was Vanaraj. Kamal died last November.
The old lioness in Helsinki is called Pandora; she is about 14 years old now. Four of her litters were successful, but the fifth not as the cubs died. Mohan is about 10 years old, but I don't know much about him yet so I have to continue my investigations.

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  whitestarling on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:37 pm

Lovely pics, and great research Cremecats thanks. Kaly is a superb looking Lioness, and I love how dark Mohan's mane is, thats supposed to indicate really strong genes I think. Thats a really good age for a Lioness even in capativity Pandora's doing really well. It will be interesting to see what you find out about Mohan, and his history if you can
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  gregrowlerson on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:13 am

Lovely pics and info CC cheers

For some reason I seem to love animal pics extra when they are surrounded by snow! Very Happy
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Doogs on Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:14 pm

What stunning lions at Helsinki Zoo CC, thanks so much for posting the pictures. I will keep my fingers crossed that there is the pitter patter of tiny paws later on in the year Very Happy

Thanks also for the Asiatic Lion info, interesting reading.

Did Tejas not come from Chester Zoo ???
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  whitestarling on Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:07 pm

Your right Doogs Tejas did come from Chester Zoo which is only around 30 odd miles from where I live.
http://www.asianlionproject.co.uk/

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Laikipia on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:30 am

Thanks Cremecat - lovely photos and facts.

Same here WS, Chester zoo very local for us.

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Cremecat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:52 pm

Hi everyone!

Did you see this:
http://www.itv.com/news/2013-01-23/rare-lion-cubs-born-at-bristol-zoo/

Who says that animals do not have any feelings?!!!
Isn't it sad that the cubs had to be taken from the mom because she was grieving and could not be a mother to the cubs anymore after the male had died? Sad I am sure that the cubs are well taken care of by the keepers, but it is never the same as being nursed by their own mom.

Kamran and Ketan are Kaly's little brothers; they all have the same parents. As you may remember, Kaly is now at Helsinki Zoo...

Here are a couple of pictures of Kaly and Mohan from last Sunday:





Kaly and the old lioness Pandora are very often sitting on the same spot near the fence. Maybe because there are some gazelles and kulans not so very far from the lions' enclosure. Maybe they cannot see them but at least they smell them... Potential dinner! Very Happy

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  littlewid on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:40 pm

That is really sad isn't it Cremecat, in fact I posted that same link in Africas Big Five quite early this morning, it's great it caught both our attentions. It is not the same as being reared by mum but it is better that these two little cubs are hand raised than not at all especially as they are so endangered and I am sure they will do well. Little Tejas that I posted about earlier did extremely well and thrived with his keeper Alan and I am sure these two will as well. As you say though, how can anyone say animals don't have feelings, their mum obviously missed the male so much it caused this heartbreaking situation for the cubs.
Love those pictures of Kaly & Mohan, they are from your FB page aren't they, they made me smlle then and they have again just now Very Happy

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Laikipia on Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:19 am

Thanks CC - just read your post as well as Littlewids under another thread - such a sad story.

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Doogs on Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:58 pm

Thanks CC, I also saw LW's post on the cubs on another thread. Fingers crossed Bristol Zoo can successfully raise these two beauties I love you

More great pictures, beautiful Kaly & handsome Mohan I love you
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  whitestarling on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:13 pm

That really is so Sad , and as you say CC just goes to prove that Animals do have feelings, fingers X the Cubs come through OK with the care of the Zoo staff. Kaly and the proud Mohan look really well even if it is cold
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Cremecat on Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:17 pm

WS, the lions are the only big cats there who have heated interiors, and they can go inside any time they want.

The Zoo is specialised mainly in predators from cold regions as they are comfortable outdoors throughout the year and adapt well to the Finnish climate - like snow leopards, Amur leopards and Amur tigers. However, I believe the mothers with newborn cubs always have a heated den. Very Happy

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Doogs on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:07 pm

They would definitely need a heated den for the little ones in that weather, glad they have that Very Happy
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Cremecat on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:03 pm

Doogs, that is why they will not let the Amur leopard Stina give birth in wintertime. She likes to stay in the unheated enclosures, and the cubs would be born there instead of the warm space. Stina and the male Toomas are now together, and if there will be little leopards, they will be born in April or May when it is warm outside. :)

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  whitestarling on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:27 am

Glad the Lions have warm interiors that they can go into when they want, its not really their sort of weather there, and thats a good plan for Stina to have babys when its warm, hopefully we'll see some this year
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Doogs on Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:24 pm

Aaaah that's good to know, thanks CC Wink

Fingerws crossed for the pitter patter of tiny paws in a few months time Very Happy
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Cremecat on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:38 pm

This is a little bittersweet picture of our lion family, taken in July 2011: Mohan, Pandora and one of the cubs



About one month later we read the sad news that one of the cubs had to be euthanized because of a seriously illness, and a couple of weeks later also the other cub was dead. Sad

A video from May 2011, when the cubs met their father Mohan for the first time:

http://youtu.be/WZm6iImOfPE

They were adorable, and it was wonderful to see them running and playing together.

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  littlewid on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:52 pm

Oh MY, how gorgeous was that Cremecat and Mohan was so laid back wasn't he and I loved the adventurous cub that went to investigate Mohan. So sad that both cubs died, they looked quite healthy in that little video, it just goes to show you don't always know what is going on or what can happen.
Thanks for that Cremecat, although it is very sad, it was also lovely to see.

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  whitestarling on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:56 pm

That really is a bitter sweet video CC. So sad to know that both Cubs did'nt make it, but that was a lovely clip of the Cub making a very cautious approach to his Dad, a lovely tender moment. Thanks for sharing it with us CC
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  Cremecat on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:53 pm

WOW
Yesterday I spent an incredible day at Korkeasaari Zoo! I can't wait to tell you all about it...
We had a group of friends coming from Tallinn, and I thought it would be a zoo visit as usual, but how wrong I was!
A friend who has connections with the zoo had arranged us a very interesting program. The zoo curator showed us around and took us to see the background enclosures, we followed the keeper to feed the snow leopards etc. We had dozens of questions, and we got answers to all of them! cheers

We were so close to Pandora and Mohan that we could have touched them... and we got to hear and feel Mohan's angry roar. affraid
The keeper has been working at the zoo for ages, and he has a special relationship with Mohan. One time when Mohan mistreated Pandora, the keeper interfered by shouting loud at him, and Mohan has more or less hated the keeper ever since. We were at the lions' background space, and the keeper called Mohan in. Mohan came in, and as the keeper rattled the bars, Mohan charged at him roaring aggressively. Shocked It was a heart stopping experience; I was standing at 1-2 meters from them, and I could feel the roar all over my body. Shocked

Here is Pandora snuggling with the keeper:


Mohan some seconds before he tried to attack the keeper:


Mohan had a fresh scratch on his nose; he had tried to get in contact with Kaly just before coming in, but she was not interested yet. The keeper said that judging from her behaviour, Kaly would be in heat within one month.

The lions' enclosures were warm and clean. The air was so fresh that you could hardly smell there were animals living in the room.

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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  littlewid on Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:14 pm

OH WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW Cremecat, how amazing and surprising was that visit, I would have been beside myself with excitment. To be up that close with Mohan and Pandora is just incredible and to feel Mohans roar all over you, what a feeling that must have been, a shivers up your spine moment I would imagine. I bet this will be a trip you will never forget, what an incredible day.
I am interested to know what questions you asked and what the answers were, did you get any pictures of the Snow Leopards as well?
I'm loving the pictures of Pandora and Mohan and isn't it amazing that Mohan still has a grudge with the keeper for yelling at him, goes to show it's not just elephants with long memories Very Happy
So there could be Mohan & Kaly cubs soon, that is good news, I imagine you will be able to follow that up with your friend, it wold be lovely for us to know if cubs will be born.
I love the fact that their enclosures are clean, warm and fresh, that salways something you wonder about so it was comforting to know they have lovely homes and are well looked after.
My god I bet you are still buzzing from this experience, I feel really excited for you, what a day Cremecat and thanks for sharing it with us, i'm genuinely smiling here
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  whitestarling on Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:37 pm

That must have been a brilliant experience for you CC, and a fantastic surprise. WOW It must have made you shudder hearing Mohans roar from that close What a Face he may not be the best of friends with his keeper, but Pandora clearly thinks the world of him. Its great to hear that the quaters are so good, and warm. It would be great to see new cubs later this year, even more photos to look at cheers .
Thanks for sharing the photos, and visit with us CC
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Re: Asiatic lions at Helsinki Zoo

Post  gregrowlerson on Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:25 am

WOW CC! This sounds akin to getting a special backstage pass!

I would like to hear about the questions and answers to/for the snow leopards also Very Happy

And Mohan = affraid Laughing

Also No because whilst I like a good memory as much as anyone, grudges are not so good Laughing He obviously hasn't heard of the old adage, "forgive and forget" Very Happy
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