A lone lioness bites her cub’s head off after playing with it and cleaning it. Does she eat it or does she just leave it?
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Klaus Boehmer captured this very sad sighting and shared it with LatestSightings.com.
The Ngorongoro Crater, located in Tanzania, is home to many species of predators. In particular, lions form a large majority of the predators found here. They live in prides, consisting of a dominant male, several lionesses, and their playful cubs.
“While out on our afternoon safari, we came across a lone lioness. Walking through the long grass with what seemed to be a cub in her mouth. The tiny cub was securely in place in her jaws as she walked without a care in the world.”
When it’s time to move their young ones to a new den lionesses transport their cubs with utmost care and precision. They gently grip their cubs by the scruff of their necks using their powerful jaws, their offspring are then firmly but gently held. This method not only allows the lioness to carry her cubs effortlessly but also keeps them calm and secure during the journey.
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“Suddenly she stopped and put the cub down. She then proceeded to groom and lick her cub as if she were playing with it. But the manner in which she was holding the cub seemed strange. Her front paws served as a cushion for the tiny cub. And her large jaws wrapped around its head. We thought perhaps she was going to pick it up again and move.”
“Little did we know this would be the end for this little cub. The lioness began tearing the little cub’s head from its body and eating it. Stunned and speechless, we sat watching. Completely taken aback by this bizarre occurrence.”
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While it is rare, there are instances where lions might resort to cannibalism and consume their own. This behavior is often triggered by extreme circumstances, such as scarcity of food or stress within the family. It is important to remember that these instances are exceptions rather than the norm, as lionesses generally exhibit remarkable maternal care and protection towards their cubs, ensuring the survival of their offspring and the continuation of the pride’s lineage.
“In the end, she got up and began walking off as if nothing had happened. The remains of the little cub lay on the floor, and the silence in the game vehicle was eerie.”