New food helps to get lioness back on form

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 July, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 July, 1999, 12:00am

Carnivorous animals at Hefei Municipal Zoo were put on spe cial diets to help them lose weight. Many of them, however, did not respond well at first.

A tigress named Dong Dong refused to eat the unconven tional food. Zoo keepers then substituted meatballs with large pieces of fresh meat that had been covered with vegeta bles. This, they said, restored her appetite.

Ling Ling, a seven-year-old lioness, originally weighed 175 kilograms and failed to mate last year. She did not eat for three days when faced with the new diet. While coaxing the sur ly lioness to eat, zoo keeper Wang Haiyan had to lower the vegetarian content. He then in creased it again gradually. One month later, the lioness was ac customed to the new recipe.

After two months on the diet, Ling Ling shed 13 kilograms. She has now regained her figure and gave birth to two cubs re cently.