If you think you have seen everything the wildlife has to offer Joop Van Der Linde, a guest at Ndutu Safari Lodge will prove you wrong. He took a photo of a 5-year-old lioness feeding a leopard cub no older than a few weeks. The highly unlikely scene took place in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania.
The motherly instincts kicked in when she came across a baby leopard about the same age as her cubs.
The lioness Nosikitok is no stranger to the park authorities, who report that she recently had two cubs. The researchers believe that the two newborn lions died, and the motherly instincts kicked in when she came across a baby leopard about the same age as her cubs.
Unfortunately, the story is highly unlikely to end well for the leopard cub. Normally, lions and leopards don’t mix. In fact, lions are one of the biggest threats a leopard can face when out on the savanna, with adult lions frequently attacking and killing the more solitary hunters when given the chance.
If the cub survives, it will probably not do well when introduced to the female’s pride. The two species have evolved side by side for millions of years as adversaries, and this is unlikely to change now. The team expect the other lions to kill the tiny cub.