By Aimee Braniff Cree
ADORABLE IMAGES show a mother lioness and her eight-week-old cub cuddling up and kissing.
The sweet encounter shows the cub snuggling with mum before she gets a big kiss planted on her tiny cheek.
Lion cubs are quick developers and start to walk at 10 to 15 days old. They also grow baby teeth while they are very young.
Baby lions are totally dependent on their mothers for food and protection during the first few months.
The lionesses will keep her cubs hidden from other lions for up to two months.
These images were captured by photographer Tazi Brown from Helmond, The Netherlands.
Tazi captured the images on her Canon 700D with 100-400 mm lens. in GaiaZoo, Kerkrade in The Netherlands.
“I first saw this lioness and her three cubs when they were one month old. I had never seen such tiny lion cubs before. They stole my heart straight away,” said Tazi.
“I noticed one of the three cubs climbing on the rock her mum was laying on. It was in another corner of the enclosure, so I walked around to the other side. I still couldn’t see them properly.
“Luckily it was quiet enough to not be in the way of any children, so I squeezed my five-foot-eight body into a small kids play hut, it had windows with the perfect frontal view.
“Then mum and the cub started cuddling and licking. Even though I was sitting uncomfortably in a tiny space, I managed to take some photos and enjoy this incredibly sweet moment.
“It is one of my most precious series.
“I love interaction shots between animals, especially with their babies. And with a deadly predator I am always intrigued with how gentle and tender they are with their cubs.
“These were the kind of shots I was hoping for every time I visited this zoo since the lion cubs were born. Photos of the bond between a lioness and her cubs are so adorable.
“These images are always getting so much love. ‘Adorable’ and ‘so cute’ are the most used words.
“I think everyone melts a little when they see the love and tenderness between a mother and cub.”