When it comes to their own babies, wild animals are overprotective. However things are completely different if we’re talking about other female’s cubs, even if the same species. The life in the wilderness is extremely tough, especially when you’re a single mom who needs to provide for your little ones. Therefore, when a lioness mom adopts her sister’s orphaned babies is as heartwarming as it sounds.
A couple of years ago, two lioness sisters, from the same pride gave birth to seven cubs. It happened in August at the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in South Africa. Unfortunately, several months later, one of the mothers unexpectedly died. And just when everyone thought the little ones’ fate was about to be sealed, the sister’s maternal instincts kicked in as she adopted the orphaned cubs. Now she’s constrained to feed and protect all seven babies. A nearly impossible mission!
Later, the new lovely family was captured on camera by Mike Sutherland, a safari guide. Fascinated by what happened, he said: “This sighting was an incredible morning with great interaction in the pride. Thankfully lionesses in the same pride try to synchronise their breeding and females will readily treat all like-age cubs as their own, especially when they’re sisters.”
It seems there is quite common among lionesses from the same pride to raise their cubs together. “They will nurse them, allow them to suckle, hunt for them, protect them, groom them and look after them and in this pride,” Mike told Caters News. However, the 10-year-old sister was in such a delicate situation with seven mouths to feed.
“That one female was now left to raise seven juvenile cubs on her own due to instinct and focusing on the future of the pride. The pride had been feeding on […] the night before, and were on their way to a watering hole to drink.
“With full bellies, these cubs were boisterous and playful the entire morning, their playful behaviour is also a way in which these young lions hone their skills for later on in life, when they will need to stalk, chase and hunt their own prey. The lioness has proven that she is able to hunt and fend for all seven and so this should be a successful story in the end,” the guide added.
h/t: Caters News