It’s an exciting time for the mother lions of Marataba. In the last six months, four lionesses have given birth! There are 11 cubs in total between them – one litter of four, two litters of three, and a litter of one.
Two of the mothers are related females and are usually seen together, raising the four cubs as a big family. The only child cub is a male, and has quite the personality. According to Field Guide Adriaan Mulder, “He is very bold and likes to show that he is not scared of anything – not even a vehicle.” To everyone’s delight, this little ball of fluff will approach the game viewer with confidence, while his mother, who is also relaxed around the vehicles, leaves him to explore.
This little male is about four weeks younger than the other three cubs. At this age, they grow a lot in just a month, so he is definitely the smallest of the group and easy to identify. Perhaps his confidence has developed as a result of being smaller than the others and having to keep up with them.
We feel very privileged that the females trust us enough to view their young cubs – a relationship that has developed over time as a result of ethical game-viewing practices. These little lions have a lot of learning to do during the next year, and we are excited to watch them as they grow.
Words by: Charlotte Arthun
Photos by: Adriaan Mulder