It’s not just humans who are struggling with the burden of unexpected extra childcare at the moment, as these remarkable photographs show.
Singa, an African lion, found his pack of five u.nruly cubs were more than a handful – or should that be pawful? – when mum was away.
Although he appeared to be trying his best, his parenting skills were not quite up to the task of caring for his young brood at Pakawi Park Zoo in Belgium while their mother, JJ, underwent medical treatment.
Singa, an African lion living in Pakawi Park Zoo in Belgium, s.truggled to look after his five cubs while mum was in the hospital recovering from an i.njury caused by another lioness
Singa tried to lift the cubs to carry them to a safer place the way their mother would but did not know how to do it properly making them cry every time he came near them
Dad was gentle with the cubs and very tolerant of their t.antrums but got a bit g.rumpy when they started to bite his tail
Wildlife photographer Linda Smit explained: ‘The mother was a.ttacked by another lioness. She had severe i.njuries and had to be separated from her cubs for a few weeks to h.eal. So dad had to take care of them.
‘He was trying to lift them, like the mother would do, to carry them to what he probably thought was a safer place. But as a male, he didn’t have the skills or experience to properly lift them.
‘Although he was very gentle with the cubs, they screamed every time he came near and tried to move them. He was very tolerant with them, but he did get a bit g.rumpy when they were biting his tail.’
The cubs were clearly delighted when JJ was restored to health by zoo vets and returned to their enclosure, as the final picture shows.
When mum returned from the vets, fully recovered from her injury, the cubs were absolutely delighted to have their favourite parent back
When mum returned from the vets, fully recovered from her injury, the cubs were absolutely delighted to have their favorite parent back