Even as an apex predator, a lion’s life is riddled with obstacles. A litany of precarious moments from the moment they are born. Yesterday we witnessed the three cubs, immersed in one such moment.
They emerged from the forest, following their mother’s gentle calls, and onto the open shoreline. Weeks prior, this lioness had left her cubs, and took up refuge on a nearby island, to prey on the abundant game. Now, weeks later, the crossing to the island continues to disappear, and the widening gap becoming the residence for the nearby crocs. Now with the cubs by her side, she weighed the risks, and decided to press on. Wading into the water, the cubs were immediately forced to swim while their mother remained shin deep. They chirped and voiced their displeasure, reluctantly following her lead.
The hazards that lurk on the deep half of the shoreline emerged, exposing their eyes and noses, sensing for any hesitance in these tiny cubs. The lioness, now nearing the halfway point of the crossing, herself unsure of this decision, her cubs visibly struggling to swim, decided to turn back. The dangers that prowl this murky water could only watch as she took up refuge on the dry grass of the shoreline, allowing her cubs to rest and suckle her nourishing milk.