Cub Triplet Receive Vaccination For Toxoplasmosis and Cat Flu

ARNHEM, The Netherlands – The video of a lion triplet born on Nov 26, 2020, being administered a vaccine against toxoplasmosis and cat flu on Feb 4 has gone viral.

The Royal Burger’s Zoo at the city and municipality of Arnhem, in the Dutch province of Gelderland shared the video footage of the cubs getting vaccinated. The video shows how vet Henk Luten, along with other members of the staff, is holding them and weighing the three cubs before vaccinating them.

“All the female triplets received their second and final vaccination against cat flu,” said the zoo officials. “They were also weighed and dewormed with a white paste, sprayed to prevent any future complication.”

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a single-celled parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii. Warm-blooded animals are likely to fall prey to it. Cats are the definitive host of T. Gondii as they hunt on mice, birds and other small animals. The parasite can live in the cat’s tissue until it dies.

As the lioness paces and growls in her enclosure, apparently worried about her cubs, the three cubs show their teeth, try to growl and scare the team members.

All the safety measures were taken while vaccinating the triplets. The vet and the team members are seen wearing masks and gloves as they vaccinate the cubs.

The cubs are currently nine-and-a-half weeks old. “For the next couple of years, the cubs will remain at the zoo, before the family is introduced to another group of lions,” said the officials.

“Vaccinating the young lion triplet against cat and cat flu is necessary. Work in the zoo will continue as usual during the lockdown. Vaccination of young felines is a standard procedure and is done after six weeks and nine weeks” read the description of Burger Zoo’s YouTube video.

The three female triplets received their first vaccination on Dec 1. This was the second and final vaccination dose.

As the team members try to handle the cubs, the lioness becomes impatient. It bites on a large piece of meat and growls aggressively. Meanwhile, two cubs are seen in the same enclosure as were the lioness.

The Royal Burger’s Zoo got their fame from the famous ‘Leo the Lion’, the roaring lion that is seen at the introduction credits of the films by MGM studios.

Over a century ago, there were more than two lakhs wild lions. Recent surveys estimate that within the last two decades, the lion population has gone down to 30,000 to 20,000. Affected by habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal wildlife trade, human-wildlife conflict, the majestic lion population has gone down by 40 percent in the last three generations. Due to human-animal conflict and loss of habitat, their population is declining rapidly.

The Royal Burger’s Zoo takes all the necessary measures. The lions are fed thrice a week with large pieces of beef or meat. Apart from this, if there are some activities carried out in the lion’s enclosure, then animals are placed in separate enclosures.

(Edited by Pallavi Mehra and Shirish Vishnu Shinde.)

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