Female lions, known as lionesses, fall pregnant to cubs outside of the pride. A lioness typically gives birth to one to four cubs in a litter. She hides the cubs from any and all creatures, even her own pride, because they are born defenseless.
Protecting her babies is one of a lioness’ most critical responsibilities. Most cubs do not make it to their first birthday; 40-80% of infants die prior to actually turning one, depending on the circumstances.
Male lions who have been expelled from one pride, form what is called a coalition. Finding a female-dominated pride is their main objective. When they eventually locate a pride, they typically first battle the dominant males. If they are successful, the alliance then pursues the cubs. It is believed that the lions slaughter the cubs so the females can mate more quickly and pass on their genes.
But the lionesses go to great lengths to safeguard their cubs. Sometimes they may engage in death matches before forming a mob to attack the male intruders. Even though they are unable to kill the larger cats on their own, the gang can occasionally triumph when they cooperate.
Protecting Her Young
In this popular online video, a lioness mother notices a lion headed towards her and her babies. A stalking male is seen on the top of a hill, ready to attack at any moment. The mama cat knows what she has to do.
As he inches closer and closer, the lioness tries to chase him off. During this interaction, the two adults get physical and the female starts attacking the male in hopes of saving her cubs from any danger.
Though relentless, this lioness is just over half the male lion’s size. She also is much weaker than him. Unfortunately for her and the cubs, she’s not able to deter him for long. About three minutes into the video, we see that the male lion is successful in killing the cubs.
This may not be footage for the faint of heart. The male lion even shows the female that he is victorious and that she will now bear his children and carry on his genes.
- Watch A Lioness Defend Her Cubs Against An Aggressive Male Lion – A mother’s love never looked as fierce as a defensive lioness!
- See two Huge Lions Fight For Dominance, In Slow Motion – If you thought fighting lions was intense, just wait until you see it happen in slow-mo!
- Watch Two Crocs Fight To The Death in An Intense Match – Not even other crocodiles are safe from the wrath of one another!
- See A Tiny Penguin Make A Dash for Safety From A Hunting Seal – The Artic is a wild place and one penguin fights for his life from a predator.
- Someday This Tiger Will Learn How To Ambush. Until Then, Animals Are Safe – As one of the most ferocious beasts in the world, this tiger doesn’t have much to show for it.
More from A-Z Animals
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.