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Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel


Three feisty little orphaned lion cubs from the Addo Elephant Park in South Africa’s Eastern Cape are a sight for sore eyes after they were feared dead. The now 6-month-old cubs disappeared from the park officials’ sight on 20 December 2014 and were spotted again at around 17:00 on Saturday, 10 January 2015, looking quite emaciated, yet full of life.


Park officials vigorously searched for the cubs up until last week, when the search was called off and the worst was expected. However, the little lions weren’t ready to give up yet, and were miraculously spotted alive on one of the park’s road.

After being spotted, the cubs were lured into plain sight with the help of a wild boar carcass, which they devoured.

The cubs mother, a lioness named Gina, died early in December, leaving the three young to fend for themselves.

John Adendorff, acting manager of the park said it is a miracle that the young ones are alive. He said the cubs were orphaned at such a young age, it was unlikely for them to have survived. He speculated that because the cubs are too young to have hunted for themselves, they must have scavenged from other predators’ kills’ leftovers.

Adendorff says the cubs are in good health, expect for one of the little lionesses who has an abscess on one of her feet. Vets at Addo are doing their best to ensure all the cubs survive after their ordeal, and will keep and monitor them in a boma for at least 6 months before releasing them into the wild again.

Time and Tide
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