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Meet our royal line up

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Our animals at Lion Learners may be treated like royalty – but have their species ever been linked to Kings and Queens? In celebration of King Charles’s Coronation, we decided to find out.

Royal python

The clue was in the name with this one. But did you know that royal pythons were once the pets of none other than Cleopatra, Queen of Ancient Egypt? According to legend, it’s said that Cleopatra wore these amazing snakes as bracelets. For those who have ever held a royal python, you will know they do enjoy coiling around arms. But they are fairly weighty snakes so it would have been a heavy bracelet! Whether royal pythons were actually worn as arm jewellery or not, it makes a cool story. Either way, these snakes certainly deserve of a place in our royal line up.

Guinea pigs

Who would have thought the humble guinea pig would have a connection with royalty? These cute, furry rodents are popular pets these days, but once they were as rare in Europe as a royal crown. English traders first brought the guinea pig to the UK from South America back in the 1500s. They quickly became much-sought after by royalty and the upper classes, including Queen Elizabeth I. In fact, the earliest known painting of a pet guinea pig is from this era and can be viewed at the National Portrait Gallery. The picture shows three Elizabethan children, with the middle child holding one a very content looking guinea pig in their arms.

Scorpion

If you’re of a certain age, you may have watched the Scorpion King starring Dwayne Johnson. Though this Hollywood blockbuster is a magical, action-packed piece of fiction, the Scorpion King himself is a real. King Scorpion, as he was actually known, is said to be one of the fathers of Egyptian civilisation. His reign dates back to around 3,200BC at a time when Egypt was two separate kingdoms. And his name, King Scorpion, is taken from a hieroglyph of a scorpion found next to a depiction of the man himself.

Tortoise

The tortoise plays a big part in Nigerian folklore, but they’ve also been a favoured pet of the Nigerian royal family since 1770. Astonishingly, it is said to be the same tortoise that lived at the palace the entire time until its death in 2019. The tortoise was believed to be 344 years old and have healing powers. This has been disputed by tortoise experts who state that giant tortoises can only live to 200, and even that is very rare. But there’s no denying that tortoises are regal creatures and a worthy addition to our list.

Would you like to meet our amazing animals?

An educational, ethical and exciting animal handling experience costs £140 and offers the chance to meet 6-8 awesome animals from around the world.

To book or get more information, please contact us.

Or visit Lion Learners Animal Experiences.

Caring for our animals

Animal welfare is at the heart of everything we do. Many of our animals have been rescued from neglect or adopted from people who can no longer care for them. The animals live with their presenter in special habitats with the best possible enrichment. This encourages stimulation and natural behaviours. By living in our homes, we are able to form exceptionally strong bonds with the animals. It also lets us keep a very close eye on them to make sure they are happy, healthy and willing to socialise. It’s crucial that our animals’ needs are met and they are comfortable in any situation.

We carefully pick the species we choose to share our lives with, to ensure that we are able to meet their needs. This is why you won’t find us travelling with animals such as meerkats or racoons.

When you meet us, it will quickly become obvious how much we love our animals. We hope you will love them as much as we do!

 

 

Sources

https://petponder.com/ball-python-facts

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/aug/20/elizabethan-portraits-snapshot-fashion-exotic-pets

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/national-portrait-gallery-unveils-earliest-known-portrait-of-a-guinea-pig-8776640.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4lWOWrtLbI

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums-static/digitalegypt/chronology/kingscorpion.html

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2002-apr-15-sci-scorpion15-story.html

https://fairytalez.com/region/nigerian/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-49934583

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