Lion Cubs Copy Mother Leap Across a Stream.
You can lead a lion cub to water, and even make it drink.
Don’t try to make it jump across, as this patient lioness learned the hard way.
The mother lion tried to make her five youngsters cross a river. A freshly-killed topi was waiting to be eaten in Kenya’s Masai Mara last month.
Lion Cubs Copy Mother
She, with the help of another lioness, began by giving them a masterclass in leaping the obstacle. The cubs were less than impressed and resolutely remained on the bank. Paul explains: ‘This particular morning in October we had an early start from Kicheche Bush Camp in the Mara Olare Conservancy to search for the fabled marsh lions.
‘It took a while to find them but finally we spotted a couple of females feasting on a very fresh topi kill. The only problem was the five cubs were on the wrong side of a stream. ‘The adults were clearly uncomfortable about this and made several attempts to entice them over but it was chilly that morning and clearly the water did not look lovely to the cubs.
The whole adventure took almost 30 minutes, there was no-one else there except my three Kicheche land cruisers and the show was incredible. ‘Time and time again the mothers leapt over the stream with Olympic grace only to fail in their persuasion. ‘They coaxed, they cajoled, they flattered and they even tried picking up their charges but to no avail. It was very endearing to hear the cub’s cries of anguish and trepidation.
‘Finally after yet another airborne example the two youngest leapt over, getting pretty damp in the process. The mothers then went back for the other three older cubs. ‘Finally, they all cleared the river and with stomachs calling tucked into breakfast. I abhor humanising animals and dislike cheesy interpretations of animal behaviour, particularly on TV, but that morning you really had to feel for mum. ‘It was a very special half hour which I am unlikely to forget in a while. Fortunately one of my clients David Moxon was filming, we both had big smiles at the end of the water jumps.’