Vumbura Plains

Survivor, the Tough Little Lion Cub of Vumbura




Vumbura Plains guide Speedy Senase recounts his relief at spotting a tiny lion cub that had been missing for several days…


Imagine, a cub of this size spending a couple of days in the African bush without her mother, with hyaena, owls and jackal calling in the distance, not far from her hiding place. Imagine she hears her mother’s call in the distance – a moment of elation – only to be met with despair when her faint response went unheard. Not far from her hiding spot, a large herd of elephant approached, trumpeting loudly. Just imagine how frightening this must have been…


After she’d been missing for a few days we all thought that the lonely and vulnerable cub had died or been killed by another predator.


And then to all of our amazement she was found by our guides – spotted feeding on the remains of a lechwe kill with the rest of the pride. Her reunion with the pride was a huge relief for us all. We decided to name the cub ‘Survivor’ after all the hardships she must have endured while being alone in the great wilderness.


This picture was captured on the second day after she had reunited with her pride, just after they’d finished feeding on a lechwe. The cub was trying to cross some water but was still too weak to swim by herself. Her mother went back and assisted her in crossing the deep channel. I was lucky to be there at the time to capture this photograph.

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