Lioness and her cubs

A female lion is called a lioness. The lioness has 1-4 young, called cubs. Cubs are born with their eyes closed. They open their eys after 3-10 days. 

The lioness is very protective of her cubs, particularly for the first 8 months (240 days), before they join the rest of the pride. Other lionesses and their cubs will live together and look after all of the cubs. This is called allomothering. 

Before the cubs learn to hunt, the mother will feed them on milk. When they are older, she takes her cubs to a dead animal, that the pride has killed, so that the cubs can feed on the carrion (dead meat). 

The lioness trains her cubs, both males and females, to hunt. The cubs begin to learn to hunt by the time they are three months (90 days) old. 

She looks after her cubs until they are 2-3 years old. 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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