This morning, Moss and I are alone in the wilderness. Our goal is to find the mother lioness and her three newborn cubs. For the first six to eight weeks of their lives, lion babies are hidden from the rest of the pride and fiercely protected by their mothers. Will we be lucky enough to spot them?
Luck was with us. When we finally locate the lioness, she is calmly dozing near some deep thickets, but there is no sign of her cubs. We decide to wait and give her some space. The cubs must be somewhere nearby.
After about an hour of quiet waiting, the lioness makes a special sound deep in her throat. She is calling her offspring. There is a rustling in the thicket and one by one, the lion cubs trot to the lioness. With joyous yelps, they greet their mother, and stumbling over one another they hungrily push their way closer for a breakfast drink.
Some time later, another lioness, one of their aunts, appears from behind the vegetation. The mother gives her sister a warning growl, reminding her to keep her distance. The cubs observe their aunt with a mixture of uncertainty and curiosity.
In a few weeks, they will be big enough to explore their world with their mother and become acquainted with this aunt and the rest of their family.
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