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Wild lioness nursing leopard cub - A very rare sighting

India sanjay Offline
Wildanimal Enthusiast
( This post was last modified: 07-14-2017, 10:48 PM by sanjay )

Wild lioness nursing leopard cub - Incredible and unbelievable photos captured first time in the history shocked

Lioness feeding a leopard cub
*This image is copyright of its original author

Probably this is first time ever captured in the history

Very very rare photos taken by Joop Van Der Linde, show a wild lioness suckling a leopard cub in a "very unique case" in the Serengeti national park, Tanzania.

A guest staying at the Ndutu Safari Lodge in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area captured the images of a five-year-old lioness, locally known as 'Nosikitok', feeding a three-week-old leopard cub.

Dr Luke Hunter, president of Panthera, a wild cat conservation organisation, said the behaviour was "mystifying".

"I know of no other example of inter-species adoption or nursing like this among big cats in the wild," he said.

This lioness is known to have recently given birth to her own cubs, which is a critical factor. She is physiologically primed to take care of baby cats, and the little leopard fits the bill - it is almost exactly the age of her own cubs and physically very similar to them.

"She would not be nursing the cub if she wasn’t already awash with a ferocious maternal drive," he added. "It is quite possible she has lost her own cubs, and found the leopard cub in her bereaved state when she would be particularly vulnerable."

Leopard cubs suckling wild lioness
*This image is copyright of its original author

Dr Hunter said that the leopard cub may struggle to survive if it remains in the pride, according to him: "It is very unlikely that the lioness' pride will accept it."

He further added: "Lions have very rich, complicated social relationships in which they recognise individuals, by sight and by roar, and so they are very well equipped to distinguish their cubs from others. If the rest of the pride finds the cub, it is likely it would be killed."

"Even its early exposure to lion society would not override the millions of years of evolution that has equipped the leopard to be a supreme solitary hunter.

"I am sure it would go its own way."

The collar was put on Nosikitok(The Lioness) by KopeLion, a Tanzanian conservation group backed by Panthera.

Wild lioness nursing a leopard cubs
*This image is copyright of its original author

This news has stunned the Lion world, and made world headlines. Nosikitok, in KiMaa means colostrum, a mothers first milk. It seems very fitting in this case. Nosikitok is part of the Masek Pride.

Some one asked what happened to the cub

Ans: It seems it was a one off incident as Nosikitok is back off wandering far and wide, and the baby leopard hasn't been seen again. There is a female leopard known to be living in this area so there is a small chance it was reunited with it's mother.

Video posted by @Tshokwane -
"There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more" --Lord Byron
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United Kingdom Sully Offline
Bigcat Enthusiast

Reminds me of Legadema from The eye of the leopard who adopted a small baboon. Truly astonishing to see.
"When the tiger stalks the jungle like the lowering clouds of a thunderstorm, the leopard moves as silently as mist drifting on a dawn wind." -Indian proverb
2 users Like Sully's post

Canada Roflcopters Offline
Modern Tiger Expert

Rare indeed and the very first record if im not mistaken. Tfs!
1 user Likes Roflcopters's post

Switzerland Spalea Offline
Wildanimal Lover

Amazing new !

Does exist such a need that is stronger than all among the lionesses ? A need to nurse a cub, even from a different specy, when she lost her litter and when she has still her milk ?
1 user Likes Spalea's post

India sanjay Offline
Wildanimal Enthusiast

I think it is second case of cub adoption from other species by a lioness ? If you remember a lioness who adopted baby antelope ?
Lioness adopted baby antelope
*This image is copyright of its original author

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