The little lions in winter: Pair of rare
snow-white cubs spring a surprise on keepers at wild life park
By Alla Hall
Last updated at 4:47 PM on 16th December 2010
These snow-white lions in winter
were born in a Caesarian procedure at a German wild animal park after
the pregnancy of their mother went unnoticed.
Twins Niza and Nero are off the critical list
after 15 days in intensive care following their birth at the Serengeti
Park near Hanover.
didn’t notice that heir mother Brouks, two, was pregnant.
White lion babies Niza, left, and Nero are held
by keeper Hanze Hamza 13 days after their surprise birth
Nero takes a bites in the nose of veterinarian
Michael Booer. They were near death after they were born, but were
nursed back to health over the last two weeks
surgeon Dr Michael Boeer said; 'We thought that she had only been
playing with the lion. We never cottoned on to the fact that she had
November 30 a white lion baby was found lying beside Brouks on her
straw. It died 48 hours later.
'Brouks lay apathetically in the corner. I suspected that she
might still have babies inside her,' added Dr Boeers.
The big cat was carefully sedated and sent
with a police blue flashing-light escort to the Veterinary University in
Hanover. 'We had no time to lose,´' said Dr Boeers.
They will be cared for by humans for about four
months. Their mum Brouks was 'out of it' at their birth and doesn't'
realize she is a mother
They are fed a special formula 10 times a day
There professor Ingo Nolte led a
six-man team to successfully bring the lion cubs into the world. They
were delivered after a seven-hour operation.
Dr Boeers went on; 'They were nearly dead. But
we nursed them carefully and they made it.'
Professor Nolte said; 'A lion looks like a cat
but its womb has a completely different form. The skin is so thick that
we could cut it only with difficulty using a normal scalpel.'
Regina Hamza, 52, has become the nanny to the
lion babies. Ten times a day she bottle feeds them a special milk
formula to get their strength up.
As for mother Brouks, she was 'so out of it' according to Nolte,
she doesn`t even know she is a mother.
Over the coming days and weeks, the cubs will
be introduced to her and it is hoped she will accept them.
Here they are bottle-fed by Regina Hamza. They
will continue to be bottle fed until they can be acclimatized to the
Brouks, standing, is here seen next to Snoary