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Lioness suckling cubs

Lioness suckling cubs

Z934/0452

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Credit

PETER CHADWICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER CHADWICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lioness suckling cubs. This female lion (Panthera leo) is suckling three young cubs and one older cub (right). Lion cubs are born after a gestation of around 105 days. Litters include between two and four cubs. Mothering responsibilities are often shared between groups of lionesses, who care for other cubs as well as their own. Cubs are weaned after six or seven months, although they begin to take meat after only four weeks. Lions are the only truly social cat, living in groups (prides) of around 20 animals, with two or three males, several females and their cubs. They usually hunt mammals such as zebra and antelopes. Photographed at Mala Mala, South Africa.

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