A formal introduction to Mashatu’s newest lion members. Our resident sisters are doing a fantastic job at rearing their new cubs, each lioness with 3 cubs. The first born litter are now 3 months old and the second litter, 2 months old. The 6 cubs are keeping the lionesses so busy, always demanding attention and now that they have moved onto a meat diet the mothers have been making regular kills to keep their cubs well fed.
The images below are from 2 consecutive afternoons spent with the cubs and their mothers. On the first afternoon we found the family in a feeding frenzy over a fresh warthog kill. The cubs where all getting involved trying to mimic their mothers eating techniques. At intervals during the feeding frenzy a cub would pounce on top of the warthog and grab it by its neck, proceeding to suffocate the already long deceased animal. We all know that practice makes perfect!
The second afternoon was far more relaxed, the lionesses where in relaxation mode. Every so often one of the mothers would stroll out to the perimeter of the den site to scan the area, whilst the cubs played amongst each other with twigs, blades of grass and anything else they could find.
We look forward to watching these sweet little cubs grow under the protection of their very tolerant mothers.
Text and Images By: Ruth Nussbaum