Vulnerable to Attack
Whenever I take pictures of baby wild animals, I can't help feeling some apprehension,
wondering what the future holds and whether they will survive to adulthood.
All young animals born in the wild, even elephant calves, are vulnerable to attack by predators.
Baby hippos can be taken by crocodiles, while young antelope are particularly vulnerable to a wide array
of predators, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas.
Even Lion Cubs Face Danger
Although lion cubs are usually safe from attack by other cats or hyenas when they're
part of a pride and close to other pride members, even they are not guaranteed a
carefree transition to adulthood.
In most lion prides there are one or more dominant males
who rule the roost for a few years, lording it over the lionesses and tolerating their own offspring.
Younger, Stronger Males
But inevitably they will be displaced by younger, stronger males looking for females to mate with.
These new dominant males instinctively want to propagate, so they will search out and
kill any cubs in the pride to ensure the females come back quickly into breeding condition.
Although this sounds terrible, it's part of the life cycle in the wild, and just as some baby animals will
not survive, many others will grow from cute miniatures of their parents into strong, self-sufficient adults.
Photo Tip Young animals move quickly, so have your camera ready and shoot first, then look for
unusual angles, close-ups, or juxtaposing young and old, big and small.
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