In pics: Lion couple mate,fire up hopes for new cubshttps://indianexpress.com/photos/picture-gallery-others/in-pics-lion-couple-mate-fire-up-hopes-for-new-cubs/

In pics: Lion couple mate,fire up hopes for new cubs

lion cubs

Frisky lion cubs may add to the charm of the city's 104-sq km Sanjay Gandhi National Park if the mating of two adult lions in the last seven days is successful. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Shobha

"Shobha and Ravindra tried to mate last week,but we cannot be sure if she is pregnant until a month passes by. They have a tendency to get aggressive with each other. This time,too,they attacked each other after mating," said N V Zirwe,caretaker of the lions at SGNP. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Jespa and Gopa

Currently,the park has a lion safari,which takes visitors on a tour through a 20-hectare forest area housing four lions. While two are two-year-old cubs,Jespa and Gopa,the other two are adult lions,Ravindra (7) and Shobha (6). (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Shobha and Ravindra

Shobha and Ravindra were brought from Bangalore's Bannerghatta zoo in June 2009. Initially,the forest officials expected them to mate,but Shobha had other plans. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Badshah

"She mated with the now deceased Badshah,who was rescued from a circus in 2004,and gave birth to three cubs in 2012. One of the cubs died," said Sunil Limaye,SGNP's chief conservator of forest. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Sanjiv Pinjarkar

The gestation period of a lioness is 14 weeks. According to Dr Sanjiv Pinjarkar,veterinary officer at SGNP,when a lioness is pregnant,she starts showing signs in a four to six weeks. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Shobha

"Her appetite will increase and she will sit in a corner. With a visible bulge in the belly and behavioural changes,we understand that the lioness is pregnant," he said. When the lioness is pregnant,the forest officials tranquilise her and perform a sonography test. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Shobha

According to Pinjarkar,a lion reaches maturity at the age of three. While chances of Shobha conceiving are high,there is another pair in the park waiting to reach maturity. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Gopa

According to forest officials,Gopa made advances on Jespa earlier this week. However,as they are young,Pinjarkar said they cannot mate. "It will take another year for both to reach maturity," he said. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)

Gopa

The two young Gopa and Jespa. (IE Photo: Vasant Prabhu)