Affectionate Lioness with Playful Cub
This sequence of photos shows a playful lion cub interacting with its mother, vividly illustrating the lioness's patience and maternal affection.
While male lions tolerate their own and other cubs in the pride, they show little affection towards them. Males also play no role in providing food or teaching cubs to hunt, leaving that to the mothers.
Contented Lioness dozes while a pair of cubs romp next to her
The one cub, bored with its sibling, decides to climb on to the mother
Then tries to get down, using the gap between her hind legs and torso
Oops! In the process, does a somersault and lands between her four paws
Now on its back, the cub reaches out, planting one already large paw right over the mother's eye
Unconcerned, the lioness allows the cub to poke and prod her face
Then bends forward to give the cub a lick as it wraps both front paws around her cheeks
The lioness gets another paw in the eye ...
And a prod on the jaw from the back paws
But, quite unfazed, she starts affectionately licking the cub again, with not a hint of irritation
The above pictures were taken in Mashatu Game Reserve in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana, bordering South Africa.
Camera used was a Canon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi) set on aperture priority at f/5.6, ISO 400, shutter speed around 1/500. Lens was a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM zoom.
© Scotch Macaskill, www.wildlife-pictures-online.com
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