Watch: Thor goes under the knife – lion gets vasectomy after siring five cubs

A Dutch zoo performed a vasectomy on one of its lions this week. The lion in question, named Thor, underwent the procedure on Thursday, 11 March 2021.

Many South Africans will think of the Netherlands and think of their progressive approach to civil liberties. However, Thor forced his zookeepers hand and landed himself on the operating table for his trouble.

Thor’s vasectomy: Why the snip?

Thor, the 11-year-old lion, is clearly a lover and not a fighter.

The majestic beast fathered five cubs last year from two different lionesses. However, Thor’s prolific progeny production raised alarm bells at the zoo in Arnhem. Veterinarian Henk Luten said:

“Why are we doing it? Because he’s a proven breeder. We have a lot of offspring, and we don’t want to have him overpopulating the genetic pool”.

Watch: Thor goes under the knife

While lion vasectomies are done now and then, they’re far from common.

According to Luten, this was the first time in his 35-year career as a veterinarian that he’s had to perform the procedure on a lion.

Thankfully, the procedure went off successfully. As I can imagine, the worst kind of upset customer would be a lion who’s just had a botched vasectomy.

It’s all about the mane

The veterinary team performed a vasectomy rather than a castration to save 11-year-old Thor’s mane. If castrated, he would have lost his mane and his place in the social hierarchy.

If you ever wanted to know how many veterinarians it takes to lift a lion onto an operating table, the answer is five.

It took five members of the veterinary team to lift the sedated Thor onto the table so that he could go under the knife.

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Presh JM Reporter

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