Lioness Viciously Defends Her Cub From Males That Has Taken Over The Pride [Video]
Life within a lion pride is not ever easy, many factors come into play during the life of your average lion. Lion cubs are completely dependent on their parents, they not only need the adults to provide food, but protection as well.
Infanticide is often perpetrated by adult males. Baby animals are often protected by their fathers, with male protection playing an important role in infant survival.
But when new males arrive on the scene, everything can change. Male interlopers attempt to overthrow these fathers. If they succeed, by hurting, chasing off or even killing a previously dominant male, and taking over the leadership of their group, then infants are suddenly placed at great risk.
It was originally proposed that male lions kill cubs to bring the females back into heat. This has been disproved, but the original thinking was that if a male lion coalition takes over a pride of females, they cannot sit around and wait until the cubs are grown and the females then become receptive again.
Better to kill the cubs that are not theirs, and start a new generation that is theirs – as male coalitions have a limited time with the prides. Male lions do kill cubs when they take over a pride, but it is not as prevalent as some would have us think.
Females already pregnant when the new males come in can easily “disguise” their cubs as belonging to the new males, and even females with newly born cubs can hide them, mate with the new males, and bring their cubs out later. Females are clever, and males subsequently end up with offspring not theirs.