Discover a surprising truth about these mighty beasts—they can be purr-fectly loving pussycats!
Hey, check it out, Mom’s back! This lioness has just returned from a night of hunting. Now she leans down to greet one of her three cubs. The cubs aren’t old enough to join Mom on hunting trips. So, while she was gone this time, they rested in a clump of tall grasses where she had left them.
What goes on behind the scenes in lion land?
Mom lovingly grooms each of her babies. Sometimes a little lion becomes squirmy, especially when getting its ears cleaned! But mostly the cubs seem to love the attention from Mom.
Like kittens, the cubs love to roughhouse with each other. But their hijinks can get noisy—and annoy Mom when she’s trying to rest. So she gently, but firmly, disciplines the rowdiest of them.
Make Way For Three!
These cubs haven’t eaten for hours. They’re so hungry! They push, growl, and fight over who gets which nursing spot. Finally, they settle down and make contented humming sounds while drinking their fill.
- All the moms in a pride may look after all the cubs.
- A cub’s spotted coat helps the baby blend in with its surroundings.
- Lions “talk” to each other with many calls, including roars, chuffs, and grunts.
- Lions live in Africa and in western India.
- Lions are the only cats to hang out in large family groups (called prides).
- Young cubs love pouncing on anything that moves.
- Lions may snooze for 20 hours a day!
What do bored cubs play with? Feathers, sticks, and just about anything else they find. Look at this perfect chew toy, for instance! Never mind that the ball is — ee-yew — elephant poo.
Dad has been very patient with this playful little lion. But now he has had enough and lets the cub know it — with a snarl.
Mine, All Mine!
Who can resist Mom’s twitching tail? It’s just made for pouncing on—and grabbing, biting, and shaking! Mom usually puts up with this game. She knows that, sooner or later, even lively little lions need a cat nap. And she’s right! Zzzzzzzz.
New things are exciting to a cub — and sometimes scary! Take raindrops on water, for example. Too bad hissing at those splish-splashes won’t make them stop!
This article first appeared in the April 2010 issue of Ranger Rick magazine, written by Elizabeth Schleichert. Download the full PDF of the story The Sweet Life of Lions.