credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo (Flickr CC)

The 3-year old daughter of the owners of a zoo in Queensland, Australia has some new unusual playmates: two cute cuddly little African lion cubs.

Both cubs were born at the zoo, but one’s mother wasn’t producing enough milk to feed it, so the Robinson family took in the little cub, along with another cub to keep it company, and are looking after the two little lions in their home.

The little girl’s father is quoted in an APP report:

 

African lions are now threatened in the wild, with only about 25,000 remaining. These little cubs will one day play an important role in ensuring that the species remains in Australian zoos.

Though this is a nice, heartwarming story and perhaps a dream come true for 3-year old Maddi Robinson, we’ve seen how private zoos can also be cruel, unfair and disastrous for the animals kept inside. The recent events at a private animal farm in Ohio, which lead to the deaths of 49 animals – among them lions, bears, cheetahs, tigers and wolves – speak poorly for the practice of private wild animal collecting.

On the other hand, perhaps responsible conservation is the only way for some species to survive the effects of humanity on animal populations. Consider this when watching the below video report: