We received this story via email and thought it was too brilliant not to share with you. Taking place in Kenya’s Masaai Mara game reserve and photographed by Jean-Francois Largot, this dramatic story once again displays the strong bond that lionesses and their cubs share.


Clinging on for dear life to the side of a vertical cliff, the tiny lion cub cries out pitifully for help.

His mother arrives at the edge of the precipice with three other lionesses and a male. The females start to clamber down together but turn back daunted by the sheer drop.  Eventually one single factor determines which of them will risk her life to save the youngster – motherly love.

The drama begins: The mother arrives at the edge of the cliff as her son cries out for rescue after being trapped when he slipped

Lioness and Cub down ravine

On the brink: Four lionesses look over the edge before aborting their rescue mission because of the sheer drop.
Lion pride watching over cliff face

Slowly, agonisingly, the big cat edges her way down towards her terrified son, using her powerful claws to grip the crumbling cliff side.  One slip from her and both animals could end up dead at the bottom of the ravine.
Coming down to rescue cub

Just as the exhausted cub seems about to fall, his mother circles beneath him and he is snatched up in her jaws.
Rescued cub

She then begins the equally perilous journey back to the top. Minutes later, they arrive and she gives the frightened creature a consoling lick on the head.
Consoling lick on the head

Despite the presence of wardens to deter poachers, day-to-day life for the lions is not without its dangers … as the cub learned the hard way.

Photographed by: Jean-Francois Largot

Filed under Wildlife

About the Author

Rich Laburn

Head of Digital

Rich is the driving force behind Londolozi’s online storytelling and the Londolozi blog. His passions of digital media, film and photography, combined with his field-guiding background, have seen him take the Londolozi blog to new heights since he began it in 2009. Rich ...

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on Lion Cub Saved by Mother
    Skyinwell says:

    Thank you,Mum!

    Mildred Campbell says:

    What a beautiful story and just goes to show that mother’s love is the best you can get. A mother will always fight for her children through thick and thin. It just shows that mother nzatures is the most wonderful thing in God’s kingdom. Thank you for showing this to us.

    Gwendolene George says:

    These are brilliant pictures! Well done Jean-Francois! Wow! Lovely story too! It just comes to show that a mother would do anything for her youngsters.

    Patsy Weingart says:

    Correct, too wonderful not to share. Thank you. PW

    Riette says:

    It is just amazing how Mother Nature works. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes we as humans, can just learn from our Animal Kingdom


    A real Kleenex moment – nothing stronger than mother love.

    Yvonne says:

    Really amazing story and great pictures!
    Thank you for sharing!

    Myriam says:

    thank you for sharing. Beautiful !! 🙂

    Geri Potter says:

    Amazing story, beautiful pictures! Lovely to see how all the pride rushes to the rescue. Captures just how strong and powerful these creatures are and yet how gentle and tender they can be. Thank you VERY much for sharing!

    Rosemarie says:

    What fantastic photography, who would have thought that a animal could do that. Just goes to show once again. “It is a Mother” Beautifull

    sheila lawson says:

    What a wonderful opportunity for you to be able to film this event, showing a mothers love. It makes no difference what species you belong to ,a mother is a mother…I found the film so uplifting. Well done & thank you for sharing it with us all.

    Sheena says:

    Proof again that “love conquers all”.

    Penny Parker says:

    What an amazing moment between that mom and her son. Lovely blog, and some lovely comments. This story is so special, I could feel the tension when I was scrolling down. Fantastic! I’d like to second Geri – so strong and yet so gentle.

    Erna de Waal says:

    Photography and story excellent! What a privilege to be there at the right time!
    No love greater than Mother Love.
    Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

    Kobus Muller says:

    Brilliant , whow i never thought a Lion can climb like that , i better be more carefull in the bush. Great story , heartwarming Thank You

    Sue Wlos says:

    Once again nothing more powerful as a mother’s love!!!!!

    Sue Edmunds says:

    Wow, you can see how strong the mother is as she climbs back up, every muscle seems defined. It looks as if she is using every bit of her strength to make it back up. It must have been a heartstopping time for those watching. Glad she and cub made it. Brilliant photography.

    Tintin says:

    Undoutedly wonderful…wat great phtograghy and great story…Mothers love is the best

    ray rodin says:

    Would anybody know how I could get hold of Jean-Francois Largot
    Amazing pics

    Adam Bannister says:

    They certainly are Ray, however unfortunately I don’t know how you could get hold of him. Perhaps a couple of online searches will provide you with some information.

    Johanna says:

    I can’t stop looking at these pictures. How incredibly moving!

    Shirley Crawford says:

    What a neat story.

    Pilanesberg says:

    Great story and even better footage. Well done!

    Etosha says:

    Very cool footage!

    Jayashree bondopadhaya says:

    Whether u r furry or scaly,have 2 legs or 4 ,the incident proves “HIS MOM HIS WORLD………HER CUB HER LIFE!

    j banerjee says:


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