Brave Young Lioness Swims River
While on a game drive in the Lower Zambezi National Park, we briefly sighted a lioness with two sub-adult cubs (a male and a female).
About an hour later, on our way back to camp, we found the young female on the bank of one of the rivers that flow through the park. She was nervous and freful, moving around anxiously, then scanning the far bank and calling for her mother who must have crossed the river earler with the bigger male cub. The pictures below tell the story.
Nervous and fretful, the female cub moves anxiously along the river bank
At the water's edge, she stares at the other side while calling for her mother and brother
Bravely, she steps into the shallows of the river
Then pauses, looking back over her shoulder at the safety of land
Apprehensive and scared of the water, she bares her teeth in fear
Then takes a last, lingering look back towards the bank
Overcoming her fear, she plunges into deep water and paddles rapidly for the other side
The crossing complete, she must climb a near-vertical bank to get out of the water
Safely on land, she goes in search of her family
Once re-united with mother and big brother, she reaches out to her mother with a paw ...
Then rubs her head affectionately against her mother as the three of them head off together
This was only the second time I'd seen a lion swimming and, amazingly, both sightings occurred while staying at Mwambashi River Lodge in Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park. See Lion Swims Zambezi River for an account of the first sighting.
© Scotch Macaskill, www.wildlife-pictures-online.com
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