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.

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Keeping an eye on the guinea fowls that flew in to the tree tops to roost for the night
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A tired mother entertainers her cubs playfulness
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Finding a gap between her siblings to feed on the warthog kill
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Belly full, time to relax!
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Attempting to groom her cub who will not stay still
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The feeding frenzy
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Seconds before being swatted by mom
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…and so he found a new game
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A lioness scans the area before night fall
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Den life
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Relaxing a one of the den sites before they take cover in the bushes for the night
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Showing the stick who is boss!

 

 

Text and Images By: Ruth Nussbaum

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