Written, and photographs, by Greg McCall-Peat
The answer has to be nothing short of extremely cute. There is something about seeing lion cubs that creates a warm feeling deep down into one’s soul. Perhaps its because when they grow up they have an awe-inspiring presence to them, yet when they are so small their clumsy antics couldn’t be further from that image of power and domination they show as adults.
Their playful wrestling is all part of their training for the day when they are big enough to take down a buffalo – though now it merely looks entertaining and quite frankly adorable.
Here at Umlani Bushcamp, we are fortunate enough to have eight of these little balls of furry cuteness to view whilst out on safari, and we have had some quality sightings of the cubs as they rough house in a riverbed close to the den that the lionesses from the pride are keeping them in.
It seems that all the lionesses in the pride gave birth more or less at the same time, so the cubs are all of similar age.
The lionesses can then take turns to look after and nurse the cubs should one or more of the mothers be away hunting for extended periods of time.
Although the cubs all look pretty identical to us, it is amazing to see the bond between the different mothers and their cubs. They know exactly which cubs belong to which lioness.
Even at rest these cubs are just too cute for words. This makes writing about them very challenging, so how about we rather let the pictures do all the talking?
It is going to be exciting times here watching all these cubs growing up and become important pride members one day, under the protection of both their pride and the two strong dominant males in the area.
And with the abundance of prey animals found within their territory the future looks bright for these little ones. We look forward to watching them grow.