Thursday, November 18, 2010

'This isn't very comfortable, mum': Tender moment lioness carries her tiny cubs to safety after buffalo attack

Mother's love: This one-day-old cub looks very uncomfortable as the lioness carries it to safety in Okavago, Botswana, after a buffalo attack

This is the tender moment a protective lioness gently picks up her three newborn cubs in her mouth and carries them to safety after a buffalo attack.

The watchful lioness carefully nestled each one-day-old cub between her jaws and padded to a nearby bush for safety in Okavago, Botswana.

The incredible scene was captured minutes after a herd of buffalo tried to drive the lioness and her babies from their den.

Watchful: The lioness remains alert as she transfers her three cubs to the safety of a thick bush

But the protective mother refused to give an inch, dutifully standing by her young and managing to scare off the herd of ten African buffalos.

Shortly after the buffalo left, the lioness decided to move her children to a nearby shelter.

The cubs were so young they had not yet opened their eyes or learnt to walk and the mother was forced to carry them in her jaws.

Photographer Ole Jorgen Liodden, a father-of-five, captured the images as he sat hidden in a nearby bush for more than three hours.

Brave: The female stood her ground after ten male buffalo attempted to force her out of the bush

On guard: The cubs had not yet opened their eyes and were unable to walk so had to be carried to safety

The 37-year-old said: 'I was amazed by the scenes and the two guides I was with said they had never seen anything like it before.

'I had been photographing a massive herd of buffalo, about 100 strong, and saw a lioness sneak behind them before hiding under a small, dense bush.

'Suddenly, ten of the big male buffalo tried to force her out of the bush, they started to break some of the branches and it was clear she was scared.

'They were being really aggressive but she started to roar to keep them away and eventually they started to move off.

'The lioness started to lick her cubs and then she went out alone to seek a safe place for her young.'

Safe: The female drops one of her cubs next to its sibling in the shade of a bush

Caring: After delivering them safely to their new home, the mother then cleans her cubs

The lioness found a safer spot 100 metres away and came back to pick each of the three cubs one-by-one.

Mr Liodden added: 'I'm glad it was a happy ending and just feel privileged to have caught the moments on camera.'

source: dailymail

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