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Asian lions are part of the EEP at PAL

Our Asian lions are one big family

At le PAL, the Asiatic lions are part of the EEP (European Endangered species Programme) a Europe-wide programme for endangered species. This was established by the EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) which is looking to extend the genetic heritage of the zoo and possibly reintroduce endangered species to natural habitats.

Our Asiatic lions form a large family comprising 3 parents and 4 offspring! At the head of this tribe we have Timbi the patriarch, with his two females, Likhita and Laranya. Our two mums each have 2 cubs. The whole family lives harmoniously. The cubs get on wonderfully with each other and spend a lot of time playing together. Let's introduce you to them…

NAME: Timbi

DATE OF BIRTH: 16th June 2010

PARENTS/OFFSPRING: Father of Sahee, Baen, Hima and Bindee

ARRIVED AT LE PAL: 12th June 2012

Timbi is the ideal male; he's calm, poised and very paternal. With adults he is attentive to his two females (Likhita and Laranya) and does not seek conflict. He's a lion who is very good friends with his keepers. He comes back to the lions' night time building when asked, and exchanges lots of looks with his keepers and with the rest of the pride.

He became a father in 2016, and is exemplary with his little ones. He plays with them a great deal and lets them climb on top of him and play with his tail and nibble his ears. He was quick to understand that the females were now mothers, and that he was no longer their priority, which is not an easy thing for the dominant male, as his position in the family genuinely altered.

But watch out if you walk around with a red or bright orange backpack on, as he hates them!

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And then we have our two sisters, who more importantly are mums: Likhita and Laranya. They were fitted with a contraceptive chip when their cubs were a year old, so they cannot reproduce while their cubs are here. The purpose is to avoid too many animals in the enclosure and above all in the lion building.

NAME: Likhita

DATE OF BIRTH: 18th April 2010

PARENTS/OFFSPRING: mother of Sahee and Baen

ARRIVED AT LE PAL: 6th April 2012

Likhita, mother of Sahee and Baen, is fairly dominant but not excessively so. She is a strong character and often grumbles when the hatches are opened. She is not a creature you should play tricks on, and if you do you'll be paying for it for several days afterwards. Her favourite place in the enclosure is on the roof of the Jeep.

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NAME: Laranya

DATE OF BIRTH: 18th April 2010

PARENTS/OFFSPRING: mother of Hima and Bindee

ARRIVED AT LE PAL: 6th April 2012

Laranya is the mother of Hima and Bindee. You can recognise her because of a notch that she had put in her right ear when she was born. She is much calmer and Timbi is a bit fonder of her. She too grumbles when the hatches are opened, and like all of the 3 adults, she has her eye on the park's vet, as well as on anyone who she may think looks like him (tall with short blonde hair). Her favourite place is also the roof of the Jeep, but if her sister is there, she's not always allowed to be there too.

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And then there are the little ones, born during the summer of 2016 at Le PAL. First there are Sahee and Baen, born on 15th July, whose parents are Timbi and Likhita.

NAME: Sahee

DATE OF BIRTH: 15th July 2016

PARENTS/OFFSPRING: son of Timbi and Likhita

ARRIVED AT LE PAL: born at Le PAL

Sahee means "right" in Hindi, and we named him this as his head leaned to the right when he was little. He shows the same character traits as his father, Timbi. He is darker than his brother Baen and smarter too. He looked after himself earlier than his brother did and he is a stronger character.

He was born in the evening in the area next to the building which cannot be seen by the public. He's always the first to get to the food at mealtimes with his brother and his cousins. He comes readily when called and it's he who rounds up the family every evening when it's time for the big end-of-day meal. He has a very good relationship with the keepers.

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NAME: Baen

DATE OF BIRTH: 15th July 2016

PARENTS/OFFSPRING: son of Timbi and Likhita

ARRIVED AT LE PAL: born at Le PAL

Baen means "left" in Hindi and we named him this as his head leaned to the left when he was little. You can recognise him because he had a notch put in his right ear when he was born.

He is our young male who to a certain extent lives in his own world. He had health problems when he was little, which meant we often had to separate him so as to look after him. His future was fairly uncertain at one point, but he fought hard and is now out of trouble. He has a much more laid-back lifestyle than the others. We often wonder, amongst ourselves, whether he isn't seeing things we can't see. He's a terrific individual with his head in the clouds.

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And finally come Hima and Bindee, born at Le PAL, exactly 2 months after their cousins, on 15th September 2016.

NAME: Hima

DATE OF BIRTH: 15th September 2016

PARENTS/OFFSPRING: daughter of Timbi and Laranya

ARRIVED AT LE PAL: born at Le PAL

Hima is short for Himalaya. You can recognise her because she had a notch put in her right ear when she was born. She is well integrated within the family and doesn't stand out a great deal. However, she's learning a lot about herself, learns from her mistakes and takes things on-board quickly. For example, she was the first one who managed to climb onto the upper shelving in the living areas. She is neither dominant nor dominated, but very independent.

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NAME : Bindee

DATE OF BIRTH: 15th September 2016

PARENTS/OFFSPRING: daughter of Timbi and Laranya

ARRIVED AT LE PAL: born at Le PAL

She is named after the red dot that Indian ladies have on their forehead. You can recognise her because she doesn't have any notches in her ears. She doesn't have a well-defined character but often hangs around with Baen, and they seem to live in the same sort of world.

You'll find the whole pride near the entrance to the park on the right, at no.39, just opposite the Sumatran tigers. When it's hot, they love lounging around in the shade, so if you go to say hello, keep your eyes peeled, as they may be hiding anywhere beneath the trees!

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