Frisky African lion cubs call Dahlonega new home - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Frisky African lion cubs call Dahlonega new home

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You're about to meet two of your newest neighbors. Just a warning: they've got teeth and claws – so be nice! Two baby African lion cubs now call Dahlonega their home.

They were recently brought to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, joining other exotic wildlife under the car of a unique Georgia family.

Co-owner Kim Wathen said, "Driving back with them was an experience because they were really not used to humans."

Life seems a strange, fascinating adventure for the Wathens. But, to them, a road trip with baby lions is really no different than a trip to the grocery store.

Kim said, "We stopped in a Wal-Mart parking lot about 30 miles from where we picked them up and fed 'em for the first time."

The family owns Dahlonega's Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, a home to some exotic and vocal cats! Two of the newest are 2-month-old African Lion cubs. They were taken from previous owners in the Midwest.

"They realized that they were not in a position to feed them, and care for them, and provide a habitat for them."

"Right now, we call them Little Girl and Little Boy."

You can tell which cub is which by either the pink or the blue collar each wears. Not to mention little girl's preference for hair care.

Kim said, "She likes the hairdryer and brushing part, and he doesn't.  He doesn't want to have any part of it."    

But, both lion cubs will grow to be big. Kim says he will likely weigh more than 600 pounds. Little girl will come in around 400 pounds.

For now, they're small enough to climb right on 5-year-old Bella's back.

Kim said, "I think they think she's their sibling."

The lions will live the rest of their lives at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve; expanding the Wathens' big happy family.

C.W. Wathen said, "They're wild animals. We always watch 'em. We never let our guards down."

But, as long as each day begins with the sound of the happy cats and happy kids, the Wathens say the incredibly hard work of caring for the wild animals – along with the big slobbery mess – is an adventure they can't give up.

Right now, the 2-month-old lions eat about a pound of meat a day. They work up to eating around 15 to 20 pounds a day.

More Info:

Chestatee Wildlife Preserve Website

Chestatee Wildlife Preserve Facebook page

 

 

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