– An African lion living in a Belgian zoo became a mummy for a couple of weeks after it was forced to look after its cubs – The kids’ mother was attacked by another lioness and had to undergo specialised treatment – While she was away, daddy took over and played with the naughty children who kept running around and biting his tail As people around the world celebrate their mums on Mothers’ Day, a few dads too have had their moment of fame thanks to the efforts they put in to play the role of a mother. This is not restricted to humans alone as some wild animals (read lions) have been driven to tapping into their motherly instincts after being left to look after their kids.
A mighty lion from Pakawi Park Zoo, Belgium had to grow up for a day after his five cubs became naughty while he was babysitting them. The mother of the cubs was attacked by another lioness and had to be whisked away to a treatment centre.
He picked them up using his teeth. Photo: Linda Smit Source: UGC That meant daddy was left in charge and had to entertain the kids and protect them while mum was away. But like any other cats, the lion’s cubs were a handful and extremely playful so keeping up with them was not a task for the weak. According to wildlife photographer Linda Smit, the lioness was away for a couple of weeks and throughout that time, daddy tried his best to keep his house in order.
“The mother was attacked by another lioness. She had severe injuries and had to be separated from her cubs for a few weeks to heal. So dad had to take care of them,” she said. The lion was patient and always walked beside the little ones as they scampered around and chased after each other. Like the mum, he often picked them by their necks and sometimes all the pressure got to him and overwhelmed him. He would get grumpy and angry whenever the kids continuously bit his tail. “Although he was very gentle with the cubs, they screamed every time he came near and tried to move them. He was very tolerant with them, but he did get a bit grumpy when they were biting his tail,” Linda added.