For The First Time Ever: Images Show A Wild Lioness Nursing A Baby Leopard In A Very Unique Way
June 19, 2018 15:09 By Mambee
Some Incredible snaps show a wee leopard feeding from a wild lioness in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Alhough most lionesses would kill a leopard, baby or not, simply because they are direct competitors in the food chain, this caring mom is just special.
Mr. Hunter, president and chief conservation officer of Panthera, a worldwide organization that works to protect wild cats, was stunned when he first saw these incredible images - his jaw just dropped!
The images show a wild lioness kicking back on a flat, dry spot in Tanzania. But it wasn't the lioness relaxed pose that drew the environmentalists' attention. Instead, it was her nursing cub: a tiny, spotted baby leopard.
This is the sort of very mind-blowing thing which lion experts consider almost impossible. Interspecies nursing had been previously witnessed only among captive animals. On very rare occasions, pumas and leopards have been known to adopt an orphaned cub of another species, even if somehow related.
Now, you understand how unusual and unprecedented this precious moment was! That's the reason Hunter said: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event.”
The attentive lioness is named Kosikitok. She has reportedly welcomed three cubs back in June. Experts believe she may have lost her cubs and, in an emotional moment of weakness, allowed the wee leopard to feed.
The baby leopard has, in turn, lost his mother, who may have already been killed by another lioness, as these two species are direct rivals for food.
Even though the story is sweet, it isn't likely to have a happy ending for the baby leopard. The lioness is likely to kill him when he grows to look less like a cub and more like meat-eating competitors.
Otherwise, the baby might suffer in even more severe consequences. When lionesses give birth, they typically break away from their prides and only introduce their babies to the family later on.
Even if Nosikitok decides to adopt the wee leopard and manages to keep it alive up to its 8 weeks of age, her pride will probably not be so kind-welcoming.
Hopefully, when the baby leopard gets stronger, it will find the way back to its own mother!