Lioness sets record by giving birth to eight cubs
A Zimbabwe lioness may have set a world record by giving birth to eight cubs in a single litter, despite being on the birth control pill. Pasha the lioness was on a contraceptive pill when she gave birth to her supersized brood at the Lion and Cheetah Park near Harare.Hillary Madzikanda, head of scientific services for Zimbabwe's parks authority, said: "This has never happened in the history of lions, the world over. It is actually a world record." "Normally, you get two cubs per litter and getting four is very lucky," she told state daily The Herald. Even more surprising is that the lioness, Pasha, was on a contraceptive pill when she gave birth to her supersized brood of eight on November 4, at the Lion and Cheetah Park near Harare. Parks officials only announced the extraordinary birth Monday. In July, a lioness at a zoo in northeast China gave birth to a litter of six cubs, in what was hailed as a national record. Anthony Newall, the Zimbabwe wildlife sanctuary's general manager, said Pasha had given birth to two cubs earlier this year and was immediately put on the pill to control her breeding. Staff at the park told The Herald that Pasha was tired and frail after the multiple births, and gamekeepers were helping her by bottle-feeding the octuplets.
By Peta Thornycroft, Johannesburg and Erin Conway-Smith: The Telegraph