This mother lioness carries her cub across the road and causes a massive roadblock as she searches for a new den site.
“Every Kruger lover has that one road that is their favorite; sometimes it’s because of a special sighting they’ve had, and sometimes it’s because of the scenery that road has to offer. For me, the S65 Doispane Road is one of my all-time favorites in the park. Sightings of lions, leopards, and wild dogs keep bringing me back to it.”
“This particular day I decided to go in search of the resident pride of lions that center their territory around the S65 dirt road. After having driven almost half way down, I came across a roadblock of safari vehicles clearly looking at something.”
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“As I got closer to the roadblock, a lioness emerged from the right-hand side, and she was not alone. She had the tiniest, cutest cub I’ve seen in my life. The little cub was a few days old and clearly too small to fend for itself. The lioness had the cub tightly secured in her jaws.”
Newborn lion cubs are vulnerable and rely on their mother for everything. They are small and fragile, needing constant care and protection. As they grow, they become more independent but still require their mother’s guidance. They are initially dependent on her milk for nourishment. As they grow, they slowly begin feeding on raw meat and eventually wean off milk.
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“The lioness made her way into the middle of the road and walked straight at me. I began clicking away with my camera, I knew that this was a special moment. She proceeded to walk right by my vehicle before eventually disappearing into the thickets on the side of the road.”
Lionesses sometimes move their newborn cubs to new den sites for various reasons. One common reason is to protect the cubs from potential threats. By relocating them, lionesses can keep their young ones away from predators or disturbance. Moving the cubs also helps prevent the buildup of scent in one location, which could attract the attention of other predators.