Adventure Travel Shorts – After a hundred and ten days, a female lion gives birth to up to four cubs at a time. The cubs are very tiny and usually weigh around 1.2 to 2.1 kg. They are born blind though the eyes open up after a week. After a day or two, they can start crawling and walk after three weeks. The mother normally gives birth in isolation and the cubs are hidden in caves, thickets or reed beds. The only contact they have with the outside world is the mother. The mother also isolates herself from the rest of the group and hunts alone close to the cubs. At birth, the cubs are in grave danger of being preyed by scavengers such as jackals, hyenas, leopards and eagles. Buffaloes stamp the cubs to death if they happen to come across them.
The mother moves the cubs from one hideout to another several times in a month to avoid scent building up in one place therefore attracting the enemies. It does so by carrying them one by one by the nape. After two months, the cubs after are introduced to the pride. At first, they are shy and lost around the other family members but after some time, they get used to the group. If the other lionesses have cubs of their age, their survival chances are increased as they are not dominated during meal times.
Older cubs normally dominate them during meal times and they risk death through starvation. If the females have had cubs of their own, they are more likely to tolerate the new cubs than those who have never had cubs before. Male lions too have mixed feelings when it comes to bringing up the cubs. Some do not mind them and are okay with the little devils playing with their mane and tail while others cannot stand them.