We came across this lion cub and its siblings hidden in a den by their mothers — lioness sisters usually try to synchronize their births so they are able to nurse each either’s cubs if need be. At this young age, lion cubs can be killed easily, often by other lions looking to mate with their mothers and bear their own offspring. But in this moment, they were a picture of sweetness. Their mothers had stashed them away as she joined the rest of the pride to feed on a dead elephant 6 miles away. But they took turns to return to check on the cubs.
The most social of the 38 wild cat species in this world, lions are under threat from rapidly shrinking habitat, poaching, and conflict with humans. Whereas they once occupied almost every part of the African continent, I was greatly saddened to hear that they have disappeared from 94% of their historic range.