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JOHANNESBURG – Newly released photographs from a Tanzanian wildlife area show an incredibly rare sight: a leopard cub suckling on a lion believed to have given birth to a litter last month.
The five-year-old lion lies unperturbed as the small leopard, estimated to be a few weeks old, nurses in the photographs taken Tuesday by a guest at a lodge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Ingela Jansson, head of the KopeLion conservation group, said Thursday that the lactating lion, fitted with a GPS collar so that researchers can track her, may have lost her own cubs and therefore was open to feeding the leopard cub. The leopard, meanwhile, appeared to have lost contact with its mother.
Jansson says there is a significant possibility that the leopard has since died.