Every new mum is desperate to show off her little ones – and this lioness is no different, even if that means having to put up with becoming a climbing frame for an afternoon. The proud mother was spotted playing with her six young cubs in the Masai Mara, in Kenya, by French photographers Laurent Renaud and Dominique Haution. However, should they get too rowdy, it is only too clear who is boss – as the pictures clearly show.
Placid: The lioness might be a honed killer, but she is gentle as anything with her young brood
Adorable: The relaxed lioness with one of her six young cubs climbing over her
Sibling rivalry? The cubs were seen play fighting together while the lioness looked on
Young: It is thought the lion cubs were only about six weeks old when they were photographed
But while most lionesses keep their cubs out of the limelight, this one seemed keen to make sure the photographers captured their best side.
‘The whole family were extraordinarily cute. Mum was definitely showing off her new cubs.
‘Normally, lionesses will hide their children away from predators. But she was so proud, carrying them out into the open in her mouth for us to see.
‘You could see how happy she was when the cubs were climbing all over her.
‘It just shows that even the biggest beasts can show love.’
Indeed, the photos captured the youngsters clambering across the predator – who doesn’t bat an eyelid.
Roar: The cubs may still be tiny, but there is already a hint of the lions they will grow up to be
Friendly: But in other shots, the cubs look so sweet they could be household pets
Victory: But being the winner is still important – as this cub seems to be learning
Control: However, the cubs were left in no doubt of who was in charge when push came to shove
Ms Haution believes the cubs are around six weeks old, which presented a difficulty when trying to photograph them all.
She said: ‘There were about six in total, but they were running around all over the place so it was hard to capture them all.
‘They are so adorable though.
Big family: The photographers believe there may have been as many as six cubs, but it was hard to tell
Serene: This little cub seems remarkably calm about being bitten by its sibling
Happy: ‘It is hard to believe that they grow up into be king of the jungle when they look as cute as they do in these photos,’ said photographer Dominiqye Haution
‘It is hard to believe that they grow up into be king of the jungle when they look as cute as they do in these photos.
‘They were playing just like kittens the way they were playing with each other.
‘A couple of the cubs looked like they had their arms around one another.’