Many animals are born into volatile and treacherous communities. Lion cubs start by avoiding the pride - mothers behave as though the pride is a dangerous thing. The cubs are born blind and helpless and she hides them for the first six weeks, visiting them only for feeds. Sibling rivalry starts early: the cubs all have their own characters, each very different, much like our own families. The mother has to juggling difficult decisions: she must introduce her cubs to the pride, but it’s a risk - lions kill infants they don’t know. It’s crucial that they recognise these cubs as nephews and nieces, or even as their own offspring. The mother approaches a teenage male, probably her son from a previous litter, snarling a warning at him. He returns the snarls but slowly the cubs win him round. They play with him, almost teasing his conflicting emotions. The new cubs become part of the pride. Mothers, sisters, and older daughters all work together, feeding and guarding the cubs as they turn the Serengeti into their playground.
Available since: Thu 26 Nov 2009
- David Attenborough
- Mark Fletcher
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