Cubs battle hunger and lion hunts to survive!

Hi, this is Eric.

Recently we told you the news that two young male lions had been spotted by Lion Guardian Lenkina in the same area that Mbeuti and her cubs used to live in. After the sad spearing of Mbeuti by the new age-set of morans back in March, her two 13-month old male cubs escaped unhurt, but many predicted their death owing to their young age. Here they are back with their mother, before the sad event.

Mbeuti and cubs_2010_Feb_24

However we are now pretty sure that they have defied all the odds and have survived! This must be largely due to the good care their mother gave them before she met her fate. Since the spearing, these cubs moved from place to place, far and wide, in search of their mother, but to no avail. The pangs of hunger were biting hard, they knew they must kill to survive but did not know how. And here they are!

Mbeuti's cubs_2010_Jul_05 (23)

It turns out that during the months of March and April they terrorized more than 10 bomas, killing goats and injuring donkeys but eating none, as they were chased away by angry owners. They even survived many attempted attacks themselves! At the height of the conflicts, the Lion Guardians in conjunction with other stakeholders, managed to stop 3 more lion hunts, all caused in retaliation for livestock killed by these two cubs. It seems they had some close escapes, and since then have never again killed livestock – perhaps they have learnt their lesson! We certainly hope so.

Mbeuti's cubs

A few days ago, we got another report of two young lion tracks around the same area that Mbeuti and her cubs used to patrol. We summoned our team of reputable trackers! Upon finding the tracks, many thought they might be a female and a cub, as one was slightly bigger than the other. But as soon as I saw them, I knew they were familiar tracks! These tracks surely belonged to Mbeuti’s cubs.

At their age, they have defied all predictions to survive for the last three months. Now I hope they can continue to grow big and handsome like Maringa and Pua, and avoid livestock and people. The Lion Guardians will do their best to enable this to happen.


  • PaulaB says:

    Wonderful news that they have managed to survive so far, thanks in no small part to your efforts.

  • Pirjo says:

    Keeping my fingers crossed that these young lions will stay out of harms way. They do look a bit thin though? What are their chances of getting food when it could be even hard for the strong prides to get a kill? Are the wildlife numbers recovering from the drought? It looks pretty dry again.

  • Pauline says:

    Has there been a news item in Romania about the Lion Guardians? The clustr map shows sudden interest from Romania, which is interesting. Can you shed any light?

  • Brenton H says:

    Something must have happened in Romania? lol

  • sauwah says:

    these cubs somehow must have found some small game to keep them alive; but not well since they are skinny. and that is the worry i had when their mother was killed and her death left these two young cubs to fend for themselves. because they are far too little, their teeth and bodies are too small ( lack of strong muscles to bring any thing good size fighting prey down and defending their kill) and their lack of experience/skill would lead them to make an easy kill like our domestic animals ( being too dumb and unskill ) to escape from natural predators. therefore, killing one livestock raider that is like a dominant male or female with cubs only brings more death and injuries to livestock. since humans are causing these cubs’ hardship or starvation, i don’t see any reason no wildlife experts wouldn’t give these cubs a break like putting some freshly kill prey in their ways once a while. and what about their relatives? don’t they have some aunts and father? have they been chased or scared away by the mother’s killer? but lions always return to their home base, right?

  • Caitlin says:

    pulling for you, cubs! You are strong, hang in there and form a strong coalition. Guardians, please keep your eye on our next generation. Thanks for the updates, and sending best wishes to the field

  • Pirjo says:

    I agree with sauwah and would like to know if there is any way that you could help these young lions. They do look like they are starving. I know that people like to think that we should not interfere with nature, but these cubs are the casualty of humans inteferring with nature by killing their mother. These cubs deserve a chance to make it. Please keep us posted.

  • sauwah says:


    I am so glad that you agreed with me. You know if these lion cubs were elephant babies, they would have been scooped up by the elephant rescue lady and other so called wildlife conservation people. but no, these are only lions, the dangerous man eaters and cattle raiders. in one documentary on tigers in India, they let two young ( under one year old ) tiger cubs to fend for themselves after their mother had been killed by snares! her cubs were about one year or less. Like lions, tigers need to be with their mothers for at least 18 months to hunt on their own. Any cub under 18, their bodies are not strong enough. their timing is poor due to their lack of experience. even when they are luck to get a meal, their meal might be taken by bigger tiger or a pack of wild dogs or leopard. then they will even loose their lives. therefore, if they are given meals between their fail hunt, they can be strong enough to hunt again. in time, they will gain enough experience and luck to be successful. then they will no longer need any aid. the cheetah cubs of Honey in the Mara were helped in this way. the reason was the mother was accidentally died from humans.

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