One of the joys of being young is having endless energy; another perk is that you have no responsibility, so every time is playtime. Now take that thought, and add some seriously cute little lion cubs and you get an amazing sighting!
I was in Kenya recently leading a photographic safari, when we came across a family of lions – a female with her three small cubs, probably around three months old. It was late in the afternoon, and they had finished chewing an old warthog carcass they had found. The cubs decided this was a great time for a bit of rough and tumble, and so the games began. They were darting back and forth, stalking and jumping on each other, biting their sibling’s ears until said sibling didn’t find it funny any more and a real little scuffle broke out. Peace was restored time and again when another of the siblings found a stick to play with, and this became the most sought after possession, which would leave us photographing a line of cubs, all chasing the leader with the prized stick.
The mother, who had been keeping a watchful eye over the young bundles of fluff, was not excused from their list of play items, and it was not long before one of the cubs took on something a little larger than itself. Her patience was commendable as she let her youngsters try to ‘hunt’ her. They jumped all over her, attacking her tail, ears, face and paws, until eventually she started giving them a bath, which was when they returned to the magic stick that had once again been discovered (cue small line of lions following a stick).
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