A lioness in Gujarat's Gir Forest has adopted a one-and-half-month old leopard cub that was earlier separated from its mother.
The lioness was seen feeding the leopard cub along with two of her own cubs. They were first spotted together by the staff around six days ago.
Talking to NDTV, the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Dheeraj Mittal, said that the lioness is keeping a vigilant eye on lions who might kill the cub.
It is indeed a rare phenomenon, as lions tend to kill leopards. In this case, it is quite opposite to what we know about big cats. The lioness is taking extra care of a leopard cub. The lioness is even protecting it from lions present in the area.
He shared pictures of the lioness and the cub bonding across various social media platforms.
Leopard Mowgli and Lioness Raksha! One of its kind and amazing event in Gir Forest- Nature’s Wonderland. @CCF_Wildlife @PccfS @HoffPccf @drrajivguptaias @CMOGuj @PMOIndia @dcfsasangir @DCFGirEastDhari @DCF_Junagadh @GujForestDept pic.twitter.com/e4IgMhqlS7— DCF_GirWest (@DGirwest) January 3, 2019
And this video shows the lion cubs 'accepting' the leopard cub into their play-routine.
जूनागढ़कैमरे पर कैद शेरनी की ममता। गिर के जंगल मेअपने बच्चो के साथ शेरनी कर रही तेंदुए के बच्चों का लालन पालन।,सदियों से शेर और तेंदुआ जानी दुश्मन है पर ममता दुश्मनी पर भारी@news24tvchannel@drrajivguptaias @ChiefForests @CCF_Wildlife @DCF_Junagadh @DGirwest @dcfsasangir pic.twitter.com/acXZ2PrUWN— Bhupendra Singh (@Bhuppi_News24) January 3, 2019
It's heartwarming to know that the motherly warmth and care knows no bounds.