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Lily the lion to appear on Animal Planet

Date: 09 Feb 2009

Lily the lions cub

Lily the lion will appear on the channel Animal Planet on Thursday 12 February at 7am and 2pm on a programme called Baby Planet.

The programme is to be repeated on Friday 20 February.

Baby Planet is a wildlife series observing the mothers, surrogate mothers and babies who represent the future of the world`s endangered species.

This will be one of the last television appearances of Lily who is set to leave Belfast Zoo this year for a zoo in the Czech Republic.

Lily, now 20 ½ months old (born on 3 June 2007) is the first Barbary lion to be born on this island. She was rejected by her mother and hand-reared by keeper Linda Frew in her family home.

Julie Mansell, Curator said "it was such a unique and special opportunity to get so close to such a large, beautiful and endangered species. The breeding programme for Barbary lions is essential to their survival."

Mark Challis, Zoo Manager said "plans are well advanced for Lily`s move to Eastern Europe. It is hoped she will go on to breed and have a family of her own."