female lions are the predominant caregivers to their young, and will nurse not only their own cubs but those of relatives in the pride if the litters are born close together. weaned between seven and ten months, cubs depend on the moms until they are at least sixteen months old.
but lions are vanishing from the wild. africa’s lion population has declined by 90 percent in the last 75 years, with their numbers plummeting from 450,000 only fifty years ago to less than 20,000 today.
photos by (clicK pic) mitsuaki iwago in tanzania’s ngorongoro national park, and manoj shah, mark dumbleton and margo traggett in kenya’s masai mara. (see also: previous lion posts)