We’ve all heard of “Tiger moms” and “mama grizzlies.” Both terms say something about the lengths moms of all species will go to in order to protect their young. A lioness in Botswana brought it to a whole new level by inviting a pack of wild dogs to attack her rather than her cubs.
12. Heroic Mom
An amazingly heroic lioness put her mettle to the test against a pack of angry, hungry wild dgs. The entire event was recorded thanks to Shalin Fernand, who was on safari in Botswana when she came upon a lioness defending her cub from the dogs.
11. Moremi Game Reserve
The Moremi Game Reserve is in northern Botswana, in the Okavango Delta. The area becomes a lush animal habitat during seasonal floods. The waterways that form are home to birds, hippos, crocodiles and other animals comfortable near water. Land animals that use the area include lins, rhins and leopards. Many safaris operate in the area.
10. Nine Wild Dogs
There were at least nine wild dogs circling the mom and her cub. The liness knew exactly what to do. She couldn’t let them get near her baby since he didn’t yet have the skills to match up against predators. Despite the numbers, this lioness fight back.
9. Stepping Toward the Dogs
The lioness first leaps out at a few of the dogs, sending a clear signal to the rest of them that they should pay her attention. And pay her attention they do. They begin to close in on her, but they are playing right into her paws, because this mom can defend herself just fine. It’s the baby she is worried about.
8. Smart Cub
The cub picks up on what the mom is doing and slips away to somewhere safer. He finds the perfect hiding place up in a tree. Now he can safely watch his mom battle the bad guys. The lioness was risking her life to save the precious cub. Few people have been lucky enough to witness such an event.
Shalin thought she would have a unique experience on the safari, but she was not prepared for the wildness she witnessed first hand. Needless to say, Shalin got more than she bargained for on the safari. “I was speechless and worried for the lioness and her cub,” she said.
6. Beautiful Lioness
After the group Shalin was with were certain the lioness was okay and the cub was safe, they moved on. “We spent about half an hour with a beautiful lioness and her cub then moved on looking for wild dogs.” The lioness was beautiful to behold.
5. A History of Battling Dogs
Shalin recounted what her guide knew about the dogs and the lioness. “When arriving on the scene the wild dogs came upon the female lioness and her cub and began threatening them. According to our guide, all of her previous cubs didn’t survive. The dogs kept on trying to attack but later they gave up and moved on.”
4. Old Enemies
Wild dog and lions are natural enemies, with lions dominating dogs in Botswana. On several occasions, researchers have come upon the opposite scenario, with wild dogs defending themselves from a pack of angry lions. Disney this is not!
3. Diverse Species
The Reserve is one of the area’s smaller parks, at just under 1,900 square miles, but it has a surprisingly diverse population of plants and animals. The area contains floodplains and lagoons, but also acacia forest and woodlands. There are over 500 species of bird alone in the area, plus buffalo, impala, hyena, jackals, elephants, cheetahs and rhinos.
2. Cape Wild Dogs
Cape wild dogs, also known as African dogs, inhabit the reserve and are subject to a research project that tracks their behavior. Wild dogs are highly social and hierarchical. Wild dogs in Botswana, “use a specific vocalization (the sneeze) along with a variable quorum response mechanism in the decision-making process [to go hunting at a particular moment].” In other words, cape wild dogs actually communicate before a hunt through sneezing.
1. Incredible Wildlife
The lioness and her cub made it out safely. Not all of the dogs were unhurt, however. “We saw the wild dogs the next day and one of the dogs had been bitten and it was limping around.” This is the reality of life in the world’s most remote places.