A lioness does not come to mind when most people think of pets. However, one family in Multan, Pakistan raised a cub to be a house pet. Now, the exotic house cat has done something quite incredible: Rani, the lioness, gave birth to five new cubs on Thursday, March 26. A normal litter for a lioness is two or three cubs.
Rani means “Queen,” and we sure she is getting treated like one after her big delivery.
According to The Associated Press, the owner Malik Fazal Abbas has had Rani for four years, since the animal was two-months-old. This is the second litter for Rani. She and Abbas, another lion kept by Malik, had two cubs nine months ago.
Now you may think it strange to have lions as pets. But Malik, a cotton and mango farmer, has a special license from the Pakistan Wildlife Department to keep the animals. Malik had always dreamed of having pet lions.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) March 27, 2015
Owning an exotic cat in Pakistan isn’t as rare as you might think. Tigers are a symbol of power for the ruling party of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Some supporters own tigers and bring them out during political campaigns to show support.
Wildlife Department official, Ghulam Muhammed said it was legal to keep such animals as long as no one was endangered.
Malik, who often has visitors to his home to see the lions, says that he takes all the necessary precautions.
“We make sure in our visits that the owners have all the protections in place.”
Keeping a lioness and her mate as pets is no easy task. Each full grown animal eats about 40 pounds of meat a day, while the 9 month old cubs consume around ten pounds. Malik’s family was a a little bit frightened of the lions at first, but warmed up to the cats after a while. Lions are animals you just want to cuddle up with, after all.
Now Malik, who is overjoyed about the gift of five cubs, will have nine lions running about his place. A thought that is scary to most, though the daunting animals can have a softer side.
One lioness killed a mother baboon, failing to realize the baby attached to the mother until afterward. The lioness chose to spare the infant and even attempted to care for it.
Congratulations to Malik and his pets, the lioness, Rani, and lion, Abbas, on the birth of five cubs.
[Photo Via Asim Tanveer/AP Photo]