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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.

dozing lioness with playful cubs Contented Lioness dozes while a pair of cubs romp next to her

Playful cub climbing on mother, Mashatu Game reserve, Botswana The one cub, bored with its sibling, decides to climb on to the mother

Lion cub climbing over lioness, Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana Then tries to get down, using the gap between her hind legs and torso

Lion cub takes a tumble while climbing over mother Oops! In the process, does a somersault and lands between her four paws

Contented lioness with playful cub, mashatu game reserve, Botswana Now on its back, the cub reaches out, planting one already large paw right over the mother's eye

Baby lion playing with its mother, mashatu game reserve, botswana Unconcerned, the lioness allows the cub to poke and prod her face

Tender lioness licking her playful cub, Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana Then bends forward to give the cub a lick as it wraps both front paws around her cheeks

Lioness displays mother's patience with playful cub, Mashatu Game Reserve, botswana The lioness gets another paw in the eye ...

Playful baby lion paws patient lioness, mashatu game reserve, Botswana And a prod on the jaw from the back paws

Tolerant lioness grooms her cub, Mashatu Game Reserve, botswana 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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For more about lions and lion behavior, please see Lion Information and Lion Facts.

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