AS4 (female) and AS5 (male) were born to Ashanti & Milo on 4th November 2011 in the Ngamo release site. They have grown and developed free of any human contact, and when they are old enough they will be released into the wild.
This was Ashanti's second go at motherhood after she lost her first litter. By December 2011 the two cubs, that were born deep in a thicket and pretty much out of sight, started to become mobile, and we got our first glimpse of them. Here, Ashanti guides one of her cubs as it starts to explore its surroundings.
By January the cubs were very much out and about, although very wary. Here AS5 peeks around a small bush.
The cubs continued to develop and grow in confidence. In May little AS4 started her hunting training by stalking one of the older cubs in the pride. We all have to start somewhere!
But even though their confidence was growing, mum continued to provide a safe haven from which to observe the goings on around them.
AS4 delighted us all in June of 2012 by giving everyone an (undignified) yoga lesson.
Her brother on the other hand was spending a lot more time with dad, not always with dad's approval.
In the safety of the pride much of life for a cub is based around play, and what better way to play than terrorize one of your half sisters and chase her up a tree.
Milo is an imposing presence within the pride, but he has a soft spot for all his cubs, here pictured with AS4 in July.
AS5 takes a breather from running around to lie next to a stinky old bone
By August the cubs were fully weaned and were making their presence known at kill sites to get their fair share. Here AS4 enjoys a meal.
But despite how much you've eaten and just need to chill, being the youngest cubs means that there is always someone bigger to pick on you. Here AT1 chases a VERY fat AS4 around.
Also in August, young AS4 decided that sucking up to the pride's alpha female, Phyre would be a good idea. However, she had failed to have a good clean after her last meal before attempting to suck up.
AS4 & Phyre sit next to each other amidst the pride
Come October, AS4 was spending time with AT1, playing with monkey oranges...
Whilst her brother was being all male about the whole affair
Never forget what your mother has done for you! AS4 gives Ashanti a loving rub.
And what does this beautiful family look like today? Well, see for yourself how they are thriving. The top image is of the lovely little lioness AS4. Below that her brother AS5 does his best to be regal on an anthill. Our third photo is of the siblings together. And finally, we have a stunning family portrait of mum Ashanti with her two precious cubs.