More sad news out of Africa today, with reports one of Cecil The Lion’s cubs has been killed by a rival male who was attempting to mate with the cub’s mother.
The Wildlife Conservation Unit from Oxford University, who were studying Cecil before his death, had previously said Cecil’s brother Jericho had stepped in to protect the cubs. However, it seems Jericho has now abandoned the young.
Experts now have grave fears for the rest of Cecil’s cubs, believing they may only have days to live.
When an alpha male dies, the next lion in the hierarchy generally kills his predecessor’s young so he can father his own cubs with the pride’s females.
Research project leader David Macdonald said, “At a personal level as I have watched this lion… and gloried in his magnificence and beauty. I was very deeply sadden by this. But I hope that some good might come out of it in terms of raising the profile of lion conservation around the world.”
The unhappy news coincides with today’s World Lion Day, which aims to highlight the importance of lions and raise awareness of lion conservation.