CUBS (also see BBC video a bottom of page)
Gestation period: (14 - 15 weeks) An average of 20 to 30 months between births
Cubs: Weighing 1-2kg and are blind with eyes opening at approx. 3-11 days.
They can walk at approx 10-15 days and start running by the time they are 30 days old.
The mother hides them for up to 8 weeks where after they can keep up with the pride.
Cubs start feeding at 2 months and fully weaned by +- 7-10 months.
Lion cubs suckle from all mothers (with milk) and this ensures stronger bonds and spreading of different antibodies.
Other lionesses will take care of the cubs should the mother be hurt or dies, if enough food is available.
Cubs are carried by the scruff of their necks when it becomes necessary to
As can be seen from the photo's, cubs learn to fight for their food, ears back and growling at any other cubs trying to take food away from them.
Young cubs spend much of their waking time playing, and practicing the survival skills they will need as adults. Just before they are a year old, they will join their parents in the hunt.
In addition to , cubs also face many other dangers, starvation, predation by jackals, hyenas, leopards etc. Buffalo's when catching lion cubs scent, often stampede towards the area of the scent, trampling the cubs to death. 80 percent of all cubs, in the wild, will die before the age of two.
Cubs initially lack confidence when introduced to pride, but soon immerse themselves in the pride life, playing and initiating play with adults.
Mother and cubs before the cubs are introduced to the rest of the family, at this stage they only know their mother and are still hidden, only allowed out of their den when the mother believes it is safe.
Cubs will be protected against other lions, predators and humans, this was a rare spotting and indeed a privileged to view....
Kruger Park - Cubs
Video footage used: Courtesy of BBC Nature Wildlife - displaying BBC video's on this site is for educational purposes - Please do not copy any photos - More lion photos on http://www.pixoto.com/charmane/recent