WORLD-famous conservation zoo, ZSL London Zoo celebrated its big cats and their biggest supporters on World Lion Day with custom-made balls for their newest arrival.
ZSL London Zoo’s new Asiatic lioness, Arya, marked her first World Lion Day today at the Zoo after arriving as part of an internationally coordinated breeding programme for the Endangered species.
ZSL London Zoo’s long-standing corporate partners Liontrust were intrinsic to making Arya’s cross-country move possible, helping to fund the creation of custom-made travel crates and moving costs.
To celebrate their ongoing support for the conservation of Asiatic lions, zookeepers gave Arya edible papier-mache ‘globes’ emblazoned with the specialist fund management company’s logo.
The hollowed-out colourful globes were filled with the feline’s favourite breakfast treats and encouraged four-year-old Arya to put her hunting skills to good use as she sniffed out the food hidden inside.
ZSL London Zoo head lion keeper Kathryn Sanders said:
“Arya arrived at ZSL London Zoo in April and has been settling into her new home ever since. Her move is a big deal for the international conservation breeding programme, in time, we hope to introduce her to male Bhanu to form a new pride as we strive to preserve and protect a genetically diverse population of the species that’s facing an uncertain future in the wild.
“Liontrust’s support for the move was invaluable – moving a big cat is not as simple as packing a bag and booking a ticket – and they ensured this important conservation work could continue despite the difficult times we’ve been through recently at ZSL due to the impact of covid-19.”
Liontrust supported the creation of London Zoo’s iconic Land of the Lions exhibit, which celebrates the Indian home of the Asiatic lion – a species that now survives only in the Gir Forest in Gujarat.
“We put Arya’s breakfast inside the papier-mache globes, which encouraged her to use her incredible sense of smell to find the globes, as she would with prey, using her sharp claws to tear into the edible balls.
“As an international conservation charity, our vital work to conserve threatened species extends far beyond the boundaries of ZSL London Zoo. Support from organisations like Liontrust means this work can continue and grow, and we’re delighted to be celebrating this partnership on World Lion Day.”
Corporate partners such as Liontrust enable ZSL to care for Asiatic lions like Arya and support partners in India to safeguard these big cats in their last remaining wild habitat, the Gir Forest. This vital contribution to funding allows ZSL to work towards creating a world where wildlife thrives. In return, ZSL’s corporate partners display their commitment to sustainability, conservation and education.
For more information on how to become a corporate partner, please visit: zsl.org/corporate-partnerships/corporate-membership.