Malika, a lioness, lives among the elite hunters of the South African plains. She is the youngest of six lionesses in her pride. She is about to become a first-time mother of cubs Issa and Nuru.
Lion Births (05:37)
Ama, Malika's mother, is also pregnant. Lions synchronize fertility cycles and births to ensure the safety and care of the cubs. Malika and Ama continue to hunt for the pride.
Pride Power (03:54)
Malika and Bahati, the pride's only male, chase off a cheetah looking for scraps. The pride provides excellent protection, but Malika will have to leave the pride to give birth. At a full term of 15 weeks, Malika still hunts with the pride.
Issa and Nuru's Birth (04:39)
Malika finds a secluded place to give birth. Issa and Nuru are born at three pounds each. They will not open their eyes for the first week.
Issa and Nuru's First Weeks (06:08)
At three weeks, Issa and Nuru have doubled in size and are eager to explore. The cubs feed nearly five times a day. Malika must hunt and leaves the cubs alone.
Issa and Nuru's Family (06:21)
Issa and Nuru playfight to practice basic hunting skills. After six weeks, Malika introduces the cubs to her mother Ama and her three new cubs. All of them return to the pride.
Issa and Nuru's Watering Hole (02:45)
The adults take the cubs to the pride's watering hole for the first time. Issa and Nuru meet Bahati; he will have little to do with their upbringing.
Issa and Nuru's Growth (06:13)
At three months, Issa and Nuru are still nursing and growing fast. Lions are one of the few species where young can suckle from any nursing mother. Though too young to hunt herself, Issa watches Malika and Ama hunt a warthog.
Issa and Nuru's Hunting Skills (05:52)
Issa practices her hunting skills on Nuru and the other cubs. Issa and Nuru decide to stalk a rhino, but Malika and the pride save them.
Credits: Episode 5: A Baby's Lion's Story (Growing Up Animal, Season 1) (00:31)
Credits: Episode 5: A Baby's Lion's Story (Growing Up Animal, Season 1)
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