Here's another picture I recently dug out of my South African Adventure folder and dusted off, so to speak! Like Karoo the caracal in my previous upload, these two lion cubs – a 6-month old girl and a 4-month old boy – I spent more than a few hours with in close-up sessions during my stay at a private sanctuary for orphaned and rescued wild cats in Limpopo Province before heading off on safari in Kruger National Park back in 2011.
Though since then I've had the privilege of working in very close quarters to lions cubs at Khao Kheow Open Zoo here in Thailand, while documenting their growth and development over the course of a five month period, these sibling cubs over in South Africa were the first cats I'd ever photographed in such a personal setting. The little boy was an absolute dream, however, his sister at only two months older was, frankly, somewhat unnerving; each time I lay flat on the ground in an attempt to capture him at eye level, she would try her best to circle around and climb up on me from behind.
Ignorance born of inexperience had me thinking to begin with that she was just having some fun, but on the one occasion I didn't move and let her continue, feeling her warm breath and then her muzzle on the back of my neck had my hairs standing immediately on end. Just as suddenly the cuteness factor completely disappeared and was replaced with a new found respect for just how early the instinctive predatory nature of these cats kicks in!
Thanks for taking an interest and wishing you all a a great one ahead :^)