Grandpa Cecil 

Great news came from Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe this week. Cecil the Lion lives on, even if it only is through his Grand-cubs who were spotted in the Park. They are estimated to be at least 4 months old and were birthed by one of Cecil’s first daughters, Xanda. The cubs have not been named to prevent anthropomorphizing them.

Photo by: Sam Mushandu/ Wilderness Safaris

Lion cubs are born with brown rosettes (spots) on their body, rather like those of a leopard. Although these fade as lions reach adulthood, faint spots often may still be seen on the legs and underparts, particularly on lionesses. The average gestation period is around 110 days, the female giving birth to a litter of one to four cubs in a secluded den (which may be a thicket, a reed-bed, a cave, or some other sheltered area) usually away from the rest of the pride. She will often hunt by herself while the cubs are still helpless, staying relatively close to the thicket or den where the cubs are kept.

Photo by: Sam Mushandu/ Wilderness Safaris

To help the cubs fend for themselves better, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust has deployed an ex-ranger and patrol vehicle to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in the neighboring villages and keep potential poachers at bay. Recently, guides from Wilderness’ Linkwasha Camp, in Hwange, have spotted the cubs feeding and chasing jackals and vultures.

 

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