Watch a Valiant Lioness Stand Strong Against a Pack of Wild Dogs and Defend Her Cub

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Written by Rachael Monson

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Lion Displays Teeth

As a lioness appears to be facing down a pack of African wild dogs the chaos rises. A tourist group in the Maasai Mara National Reserve filmed the interaction. Onlookers gasp in horror as the dust rises around the brawl. As the cloud clears, we realize this lioness has entered into very dangerous territory – the dogs’ den. The next scene shows the lioness sitting in the middle of the pack more at ease but still wary of her surroundings. The dogs run back and forth barking and are very unsure of the lioness. We learn the lioness is a mother looking for her cub who might be injured.

The lioness takes a quick rest and then begins to move toward the pack, but the wild dogs keep their distance. Then, the lion cub makes an appearance! We see no bite marks or scratches on it. The mother lioness leads her baby away, but the spooked cub runs away again. Will the mother lioness find her cub before it’s too late? Watch the video below to find out!

Where is the Rest of the Pride?

Lions can be extremely quiet while hunting.

Most people know that lions live in large family groups called prides led by a dominant male. In this video, a single mother lioness and her cub face a pack of angry wild dogs. So, why are they all alone?

What most people don’t know is that when it is time for a lioness to give birth, she leaves her family for a while. She finds a safe, quiet place to birth her cubs and they stay there in the den for up to six weeks. She must keep them away from lions, as well as, other predators. Leopards and hyenas will kill lion cubs.

When the cubs are ready, mother lioness brings them back to the pride. This is still a dangerous process as the cubs because the rest of the pride might reject them and kill them. If the pride accepts them, female cubs live their lives out with the pride. Male cubs stay with the family for about 3 years then move on to their own pride.

Why did This Encounter Become a Fight?


According to the Denver Zoo, lions will often kill and sometimes eat wild dog pups.


The mother lioness entered the den of the African wild dogs while looking for her cub. The wild dogs’ natural instinct to protect their den drives them. Their pups are born and raised here. The whole pack defends the young and wards off intruders. The wild dogs attack the mother lioness with caution because she could hurt or kill one of them.

According to the Denver Zoo, lions will often kill and sometimes eat wild dog pups. Like the lion cubs, the wild dog pups are in constant danger. Wild dogs are much smaller and less powerful than most of the other predators such as big cats in Africa. Attacking an intruder as a team is an absolute must. If the wild dogs cannot protect their pups, the pack will die out.

Unlike the mother lioness, one of the females in the pack is dominant. She is the alpha female. Only she and the alpha male produce pups. Males will stay with the pack and females will leave around three years old. When the alpha female is ready to give birth, the other wild dogs protect the area and bring her food. When the pups are ready, they will roam and learn to hunt with the rest of the pack.

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About the Author

Rachael Monson is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her primary focus is cats, big and small. She also works as senior veterinary assistant and has been in that field since 2012. A resident of Mississippi, she enjoys spending her off time playing video games with her husband and hanging out with her pets (a Bengal cat named Citrine and Basset Hound/Pomeranian mix dog named Pepsi).

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