Cubs fathered by the late Cecil the lion are being protected by his brother since his tragic killing, researchers say.
The popular lion was killed by American dentist Walter Palmer in a story that you probably know all too well by now. A new development in the story is a positive light.
When the alpha male in a pride is killed the next alpha kills all the cubs he fathered. Following Cecil’s death, the fear was that his cubs would be killed by Jericho. Jericho was second in line but also Cecil’s brother.
This usually happens so that a male can father his own offspring with the females in the pride.
However, according to a team at Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Unit, Cecil’s brother has stepped up to the plate and is currently safeguarding the now fatherless cubs.
Speaking about the situation, David Macdonald, project leader, said:
“As you probably know, the natural law in lion society is that when a male dies and his weakened coalition is usurped, the new incoming males kill their predecessors’ cubs. This may not happen because Cecil’s brother is still holding the fort.”