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Going Against Its Patriarchal Nature, A Lion Takes Care Of Cubs After The Lioness Dies

  • IWB Post
  •  May 16, 2018

A mother is supposed to be at home and solely be responsible for a child’s upbringing while the father earns the bread. This is a set patriarchal rule of parenting in humans. Well, the animals are not far away from patriarchy too. In the set rule of parenting, lions usually never take up the role of lioness after she dies. 

In the case of this cat breed, a lioness is responsible for teaching and protecting her cubs and a lion stays away from this responsibility of parenthood. If she dies, the aunts (other lionesses in a pride) of the cubs take over their responsibility.

According to Jalpan Rupapara, a naturalist working in Gir-Somnath, a lioness generally keeps her cubs away from the father, as big cats are known to attack their litter if they suspect the cubs’ paternity.

He quotes this in surprise as a father lion named Bedhia Nar in the savannahs of Gir-Somnath went against this set nature of parenthood. In a very rare sight, Bedhia donned the role of a mother for its cubs after the lioness died two years ago due to electrocution.

The cubs were just three months old when she passed away and were very vulnerable to the dangers of the jungle. Understanding the vulnerability of the situation, Bedhia took up the responsibility to protect and teach his cubs.

Jalpan Rupapara told The Times of India, “Never in our wildest imagination did we expect the lion to become this responsible for its cubs. Generally, lions do not actively participate in child rearing.

Bedhia took care of its cubs for a year and a half, sheltered them under its wing, protected them from the dangers of the jungles. Purvesh Kacha, a naturalist and anaesthetist, who works with Rupapara in Gir-Somnath, claimed that Bedhia has even avoided mating, fearing that the “step-mother” may harm his cubs.

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