Beautiful Moment: Lion Cubs Copy Mother Leap Across a Stream


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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
The cats were being encouraged by the lioness to cross the water to where a freshly-killed topi was waiting to be eaten
The pictures show five cubs being led down to the water. Mother gave a masterclass in leaping the obstacle by their mother
But still they would not budge, unwilling to risk setting foot in the cold water
The mother even tried force in a bid to persuade her cubs to cross the river
And still they looked at her blankly from the opposite bank as she cajoled them with every motherly trick she had
The lioness then took her young to another part of the stream 

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.

Time and time again the mother leapt over the stream with Olympic grace only to fail in her persuasion

‘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.

Finally after yet another airborne example from their mother, the two youngest cubs leapt over
At first it looked like they were going to clear the stream with ease. But they fell short by a matter of inches, splashing down in the cold water
They were wet but alive and made it to the other side where their dinner was waiting

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.

Once they had had their fill, she gave them a bath to clean off the mud from the stream

‘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.’


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