The Singapore Zoo has announced the birth of a beautiful lion cub, the country’s first artificially inseminated lion baby.
The zoo has given the animal the name Simba, which means “lion” in Swahili and is an appropriate name for the son of Mufasa, a lion.
Following assistance from his caregivers, the cub appears to be healthy and content.
He has progressed to solid foods three months after its birth, and he enjoys playing with his ball and other enrichment equipment.
He’s practicing his roar, just like his namesake in the film The Lion King.
Now for the NSFW section of the story, which is considerably different from the version of The Lion King that we are all familiar with.
Mufasa, Simba’s father, was an elderly lion when his sperm was removed.
His violent disposition had precluded him from ever forming a successful relationship with a woman during his lifetime.
As a result, he had no children, therefore the zoo decided to use electro-ejaculation to collect his sperm.
The technique is modified from animal to animal, and it even occurs in humans on occasion.
The mechanism is largely the same across large mammals in that you introduce the device into the rectum of the animal you want to collect sperm from, with a sheath over the animal’s penis for collection.
A manual for the AC-1 Electrojaculator states, “Insert the lubricated probe completely in the animal’s rectum with the electrodes oriented ventrally (towards the front, underside).”
“In a rhythmic motion, stimulate the animal by turning the power knob clockwise, pause, return to zero and pause. Some movement of the rear legs will occur during stimulation.”
The device stimulates the animal in short bursts of 2-3 seconds that repeat for several minutes.
If no results are obtained, the procedure might be repeated with a higher voltage. According to the manual:
“Electroejaculation of an animal demands skill. It is not simply a matter of punching buttons and turning knobs, but requires finesse to find the proper timing and voltage to apply.”
Some animals, such as very dangerous lions, may be sedated as part of the surgery, as Mufasa was.
He did not survive the electro-ejaculation surgery and was not resuscitate later due to his age (20) and poor condition.
“Mufasa lived to the ripe old age of 20 but did not sire any cubs in his lifetime because of his aggressive behavior, which did not bring about successful pairings with any female,” Wildlife Reserves Singapore stated in a statement obtained by Channel News Asia.
“Yet his genes would be of high value in contributing to the genetic diversity and sustainability of African lion populations in zoological institutions.”
Kayla, a lioness, was inseminated using his sperm, and Simba was born on October 23, 2020.