Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm statement on Longleat's lioness Louisa

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm was saddened to hear on Saturday that Louisa the lioness and her cubs at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park had been euthanased due to apparent health problems. Louisa came to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm as an 8-month-old cub from Linton Zoo in Cambridge in February 2010 and was rehomed at Longleat in January 2011.

Louisa was requested by Longleat to become part of a new pride being established at the safari park. Longleat have explained that Louisa was exhibiting neurological behaviours which left them no option but to humanely euthanase her and her cubs which were also suffering from the same condition. Louisa wasn’t bred at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm but had some minor health issues as a young cub prior to arrival and during some of her stay which were effectively controlled through a special diet under the direction of specialist vets and her symptoms alleviated.

The symptoms were successfully managed at Noah’s Ark with a diet supplemented by vitamin A. On leaving us in 2011, Louisa was in good health and her medical records transferred with her. Looking back at Louisa’s genetic history, the underlying health issues Longleat found have been suggested by the Safari Park to be the result of inbreeding 15-20 years ago. These historical issues predate the Louisa’s time at Longleat, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and Linton Zoo and are no reflection of the standards of care given at the parks.

Longleat have significant experience caring for and breeding lions so we are confident they have made these difficult decisions based on expert guidance and have the best interests of their animals at the centre. Our sympathies are with Longleat’s staff and keepers during this difficult time.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has two lion brothers Zulu and Masai, Louisa’s brothers, at our park. Both are healthy, fit animals and are not suffering from the problems Louisa experienced. For more information about the lions and our other animals can be found online on the Noah's Ark website or by phoning 01275 852606.

Further details can be found in Longleat’s statements about Louisa and her cubs.

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