I’ll meat you at the party: Zoo throws wedding reception for lions

Zoo keepers have thrown two lions a wedding party complete with a heart-shaped meat cake in the hope of drawing much-needed visitors and encouraging the animals to mate. Hundreds of guests attended the reception laden with balloons for long-time resident and lioness Nova and newcomer Nabha at the Chittagong zoo in Bangladesh. Children were treated to a pre-wedding party before visitors were invited into the zoo through a heart-shaped gate to witness the nuptials. The highlight of the day was the 10kg (22lb) cake for the couple made mainly of meat that included beef, chicken, eggs and fried liver.

This is an unusual function no doubt. And we made an effort to give a festive look to this zoo with colourful decorations to welcome the union of the lion and lioness

Mesbah Uddin, government administrator of Chittagong district

The ceremony will end ten loveless years without a mail companion for Nova. There has been no lion at the zoo since 2008 when her father, Raaz, died. Nabha, previously known as Badsha, was brought in from Rangpur zoo, which in turn took Nova’s sister, Borsha, as a companion for its other male lion, Raza. However, despite the lavish ceremony there was to be no honeymoon night passion. The lions and lionesses at both zoos are still kept in separate cages so that they do not fight and adjust to their new environments.