I hand-selected the most interesting facts about lion cubs. Here they are:
1. Lion cubs are born in hidden places.
When it is the right time, a lioness leaves her pride to search for a hidden den where she can give birth in secrecy.
2. Lion cubs are introduced to their pride 6 weeks after they are born.
Until then, they remain in their secret den under the protection of their mother. Lioness keeps predators, such as large birds, snakes, hyenas, leopards, even male lions away from her newborns.
3. Lion cubs are born blind.
Newborn cubs come to the world with closed eyes. Their eyes open in 2 to 3 weeks. Even then, it takes another week or so until they start seeing the world with a clear vision.
4. Older lion cubs bully the little ones.
If older lion cubs are present in a family pride, a lioness does not introduce her newborns until little ones turn 3 months old. Because older cubs usually bully the little ones by playing rough and stealing their milk.
5. Cubs start eating meat when they are 3 months old.
Like humans, lion cubs are born without teeth. So, their mother’s milk is crucial for them to grow up. They stop drinking milk when they reach an age of 6-7 months. However, they still stay dependent on their mother for protection and meat.
6. Lion cubs are born with black spots on their body.
Those spots fade away as they grow older. However, some of them remain on their legs even in their adulthood. Nevertheless, the spots are too faint to observe.
7. Lion cubs live in their maternal pride until they reach 2 years of age.
2 years of age is enough for the lions to learn hunting skills. And, they become less dependent upon an adult care. So, after that age, male cubs are ousted from their maternal pride.
8. They learn how to walk on day 20.
Baby Lions are so helpless at the beginning. Their movements from one place to other limited to only crawling. If they really lag behind, their mother carries them on her mouth by holding behind their necks.
9. A lioness can give birth 1 to 6 cubs at a time.
However, a litter of 2-3 cubs is more common.
10. Baby lion cubs like to play.
Baby cubs like to explore and socialize by playing. There are several entertaining videos on YouTube, where cubs playfully showcase their cute actions.
11. A fictional lion cub, Simba, is a favorite cartoon character of many children.
I am pretty sure you heard the cartoon called “The Lion King”. Scenes of that cartoon depict a life of a lion cub through fictional manner.
Sad Facts about Lion Cubs
12. Only 1 in 8 male lion cubs survive.
Male and female cubs are born in about same numbers. However, if you pay attention to a lion pride, you will see that lionesses are dominant there. Where is a rest of male lions? To find an answer for it, we have to look at the survival ratio.
Once male lions are ousted by males of their maternal pride, young males start their “make it or die” journey. During that journey, they experience deadly fights with males in foreign territories.
13. Victorious males kill cubs of a pride.
If previous males of a pride lose their authority to a newcomer male, they put lion cubs of the pride in a deadly risk. Because a new leader kills existing lion cubs. A mother lioness usually tries to protect her cubs from new males. However, her chances are very slim, unless she groups her efforts with other lionesses of the same pride.
14. Only less than 50 % of lion cubs survive.
It is one of the saddest facts about lion cubs. In order to successfully reach 2 years of age, lion cubs go through very tough times. Most of the time, they become victims of starvation, abandonment, and predators, which slashes 50% of their chances to further life.
15. Even female cubs are not spared.
If a pride decides that their numbers are getting larger than usual, they even oust the youngest generation of lionesses. However, if new males claim the leadership in a pride, that situation takes a different turn. They usually expel older males and females from the pride.
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