A French wildlife photographer Jean-François Largot has captured unique footage of the life of a lion pride. Find out about the parental instinct of the king of beasts below.
What do we know about the life of this amazing African predator, other than that it has often been chosen as a heraldic symbol? Until now, it is depicted on the coats of arms of several European countries – Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Finland, and Norway. In the wild the main goal of any species is survival and adaptation, and people have long known the harsh lion "laws."
A lion's pride consists of related females, their offspring, and the actual master of the pride, the male. A lion's mane makes hunting a bit difficult for the lion and contributes to the overheating of the body, so he serves as the head and protector of his pride. Groups of females usually hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. They take care of the cubs as well.
Males rarely live more than ten years, regularly fighting with competitors for their territory. And only one-fifth of their offspring survives, because the male who wins the fight for the pride kills the cubs of his defeated predecessor.
But there are still cases that characterize these powerful predators as loving parents, capable of self-sacrifice no less than humans. One such story took place in the Kenya's national park.
A tiny lion cub fell into a deep ravine.
It was beyond its strength to climb the muddy steep wall. Struggling to climb the wall, he was slowly slipping down. The kitten's desperate cries were immediately heard by several adult females.
Three lionesses and two young lions even started to descend to help the baby out, but the soft ground crumbled under their heavy bodies. Four animals abandoned this venture and returned to solid ground, and only one female fearlessly continued to descend to the frightened cub.
It seemed to be the mother of the cub, because how else one can explain her readiness to risk her life? Fortunately, the strength and flexibility of the lioness allowed her to intercept the cub halfway down and climb out.
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It is unknown whether the mother punished her disobedient kid or not, but after the incident she was licking him for a long time – either to comfort him, or to wash him.
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