By Vickie Welborn
April 24, 2007
FRIERSON – Boo Boo the lioness was returned this morning to the pride at Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary to continue recovering after a successful surgery.
Boo Boo was spayed April 18, not only because the procedure eliminates the chance of unplanned births but because of other physical benefits as well, said Jenny Senier, Yogie and Friends director.
“She was in the lockdown pen till this morning and the boys were sleeping around the pen and basically watching over her the entire time. What a bunch of cool cats,” Senier said in an e-mail to The Times.
It was Boo Boo’s unexpected pregnancy last year that eventually led her to the operating table. Boo Boo was in a pen with a male lion, Batman, but a pregnancy wasn’t a concern since Batman had had a vasectomy.
That’s why Senier and founder Tim Mills were surprised on Feb. 27, 2006 to find a single lion cub standing in a puddle of water in Boo Boo’s and Batman’s pen. Boo Boo actually gave birth to three fully formed cubs. But it was only the male cub, later named Moses, who survived.
Moses is thriving, and two months ago celebrated his first birthday.
Batman had his second vasectomy in July. Yogie, another female lioness, will be spayed May 2.
“That way there’s no doubt,” Senier said.
A new medical team is assisting with the surgeries, which cost $1,500 each. The team consists of Corrine Brown, a doctor of veterinary medicine, and Joanne Luebbert, a waterfowl biologist, both of Grand Cane, and April Hightower, a veterinarian technician with Southern Hills Animal Hospital.
Brown and Luebbert are business partners who co-founded the Grand Cane-based Wild Waterbird Conservancy, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on waterbird research, rehabilitation and education.