On Sunday 17th July, 2016 whilst on a game drive with visitors in Murchison Falls Conservation Area. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers over heard a lion cub, in the deep trench, and later on spotted a pride as they went on with the game drive.
On returning the following day, the cub was over heard in the same area , which led to the intervention of UWA rangers and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) team.
The cub was found trapped in a trench, looked depressed and dehydrated. The one week old cub weighs 1.24kg.
Today 18th July, 2016. He reached our facility at UWEC Zoo, Entebbe where he will have a 24 hour surrogate mother for the next couple of months as we monitor his health.
Like humans and many other animals, lion cubs are initially born helpless. Although they have the ability to crawl the day after they are born, they remain blind for a week. That means they have to rely much on their mothers for food and protection. Even after this sensitive period though, the lion cubs may remain close and dependent on their mothers for about two more months.
Mothers of cubs however are not solely responsible for their young. Since they live in a pride with other females that are biologically related to them, lactating lionesses allow lion cubs of other lionesses to suckle. Apparently, this pride behavior is more than a gesture of goodwill. The ready access to milk sources promotes better cub survival and growth. In a way, this is a survival mechanism.
Visit UWEC Zoo to learn more about the big cats and other orphaned animals under our care today!