Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa

Impressive lioness and her cute cub are playing beside a waterhole. The cub has its tongue out and its head placed over the lioness’s head and its paw over its mother’s front leg.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 7 April, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a X-H1 and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Exposure time: 1/1250s
  • ISO: 4000
  • Focal Length: 560mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4717 by 3145 pixels (WxH).

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Background

Happy family, the impressive lioness, and her sweet cub are playing together gently on the grassy bank beside a waterhole. The lioness lies on her side while the cub is playing with her. The cub has its tongue out and eyes closed. Behind the lions, you can see a large tree trunk.

A lioness usually gives birth to a litter of 3 or 4, but sometimes you get litters up to 6 cubs. Once born, they cannot open their eyes until they are a few days old. After that, at about 10-15 days of age, they will begin to walk. The male lions will generally play no paternal role in taking care of cubs or providing any meat for them. It is all up to the females! Lionesses also usually do the hunting for their pride. Once they have done all the hard work, the males will scoot them aside and begin eating first! It is risky being a cub, only about 50% of them survive. When they are very young, they are vulnerable to predators such as hyena, vultures, and leopard. Once their mother introduces them to the pride, the risk isn’t over. If the pride has been taken over by another male lion, he will then kill the cubs that aren’t from his genes.

The lion, Panthera Leo, is in category vulnerable in the IUCN red list.

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