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Love hormone transforms ferocious SA lions into pussycats

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Love hormone transforms ferocious SA lions into pussycats

Scientists hope the use of oxytocin will boost conservation by helping unfamiliar lions to bond and breed

Cape Town bureau chief

Lions at a reserve in SA went from fierce to friendly after being dosed with the “love hormone”, oxytocin.

“You can see their features soften immediately. They go from wrinkled and aggressive to this totally calm demeanour,” said Jessica Burkhart, one of the scientists behind the experiment. “They totally chill out. It’s amazing.”

There are now hopes oxytocin treatment will boost conservation by helping lions to bond, and Burkhart is involved in new experiments with rescued lions at other reserves...

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