Even the fiercest predators sometimes have a soft side. Don’t believe it? Check out these photos of a male lion hanging out with his cubs for the first time. Wildlife photographer Uwe Skrzypczak captured the images below after watching the six-month-old lion cubs for weeks in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Of the interaction, Uwe said “The father lion was very gentle with his cubs, who were rather skittish being around the tough older lion at first. After a few days of being around Dad they realize he’s not going to hurt them and the play got rougher.”
In 50 years, Africa’s lion population has declined from 450,000 to 20,000 and some conservationists warn that they could disappear entirely within the next 15 to 20 years.