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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field
Jack of Cubs
Corinne Kendall — in East Africa Project    Share

Every lion pride seems to have at least five cubs and some have closer to ten. Cubs bring out the kitten in a lion with their playful antics. The cubs spend much of the day crouching behind clumps of grass so they can pounce on their siblings or being kicked by an unwilling mother as they attempt to suckle. Tourists stare in amazement as the cubs move from mother to mother trying to find a willing victim from whom they can get some attention or milk. When the pride makes a kill, the cubs find that they are not alone. As the adults lay down for a nap, the cubs chew on the remaining shoulder bone of a topi as scavengers gather. I watched as jackals tried to sneak up to the cubs only to find themselves chased by a lion only slightly bigger than themselves. Despite their small size, a lion cub could still give quite a whack and the jackals remain wary rushing in and away as the cubs come after them. The lioness paid no attention but for the cubs the chasing jackals appeared to be a fun game though they were cautious not to get too far from the pride.

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