BORAS, Sweden, Nov. 3 (UPI) — Three lion cubs at Sweden’s Boras Zoo were euthanized after the mother ignored them to spend time with the rest of the lion pride, zookeepers said.
“The mother pushed them away. We had no choice,” zookeeper Bo Kjellsson said.
The lioness, named Karafi, delighted zookeepers and visitors when she gave birth Friday, but it soon became apparent she wanted nothing to do with the cubs, the Swedish news agency TT reported Tuesday.
The cubs weakened overnight and were euthanized Saturday.
Zookeepers declined to hand-feed the cubs because it would have permanently altered their behavior and made it difficult for them to be accepted by the rest of the pride, zookeeper Carin Mortensen told TT.
“It always hits you hard when you’re forced to put down newborn cubs, but we need to be professional,” Mortensen said. “This happens in the wild and isn’t out of the ordinary.”
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