A Good Mum

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Posted by Sara Blackburn at 1:54 AM

It’s been a few weeks now since Lilly introduced her cubs to the pride. Lilly never seemed comfortable, and unfortunately her two cubs didn’t survive. When I left her, Silver still had her four babies tucked away in a lugga, but they have since been introduced to her pride mates and a bigger world!

fourCome on mum!

As you can see, these four fluffy bundles are in great health. The next few months will be a testing time for both mum and cubs, but with good rain and plenty of food, they have a good chance of making it to adulthood. These three lionesses are great hunters, and successfully raised seven cubs through this year.
Following the loss of her cubs, Lilly has been mating with Caesar. If they mate successfully, Caesar will have sired three litters. Lionesses often mate with several males when they are in heat, but as the only resident pride male (and a magnificent one at that!) with no real challengers, Caesar’s building an impressive dynasty!

caesar & lilly Caesar and Lilly. She can be easily recognized by the area of patchy fur by
her left eye. She’s also rather fluffy.

Silver’s cubs are growing fast. They still have woolly fur, camouflaging spots and short tails. They will have to wait until they are five months of age before they grow a sleek coat and develop a tail tuft.

cubThe cubs are growing fast!

The cubs will be heavily dependant on their mother for a long time, and will suckle until they are around 6 months old. By the time they reach 3 months though they will develop a taste for meat, and will soon be fighting dad over first dibs on dinner!

suckling Mum has her paws full with four hungry cubs to feed

Hopefully we can begin the countdown to the arrival of Lilly’s cubs now. Fingers crossed that she will have more luck this time.
Happy Christmas and New Year from the Mara lions!
Sara