Update on Cecil’s Cubs

Cecil - Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe (c) by Vince O'Sullivan. CC BY-NC 2.0
Cecil – Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe (c) by Vince O’Sullivan. CC BY-NC 2.0

You may remember that when Cecil the lion was killed in July many people were worried about the fate of his cubs. Lions, like many wild felids, practice infanticide. If a male lion discovers cubs that are not his own, he will attempt to kill them so that he can mate with their mother. This helps to ensure that his genes will be passed along, and not those of his competitors.

Thus, it was feared that Cecil’s murder would also doom his cubs. But after three months, the cubs are doing well.

In August I reported that Cecil’s cubs were being protected by his brother, Jericho. Thankfully, that is still the case.

Towards the end of September, David Macdonald of Oxford’s WildCRU sent out two updates on Cecil’s cubs. The first one, released on the 24th of last month, stated that Jericho had been spotted resting under a tree. It also claimed that Oxford’s researchers had seen signs of Cecil’s cubs, and that all seemed well.

Then on September 29 the cubs themselves were photographed. They were in the midst of a food coma after gorging on a zebra kill with their pride.

While the odds are still stacked against Cecil’s cubs, they appear to be benefiting from lions’ unique social structures. With the help of their uncle and pride lionesses, they just might make it.

To view the original stories, as well as an abundance of useful information, follow this link to the WildCRU’s homepage.

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