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'Call of the Wild': Lioness nurses and feeds leopard cub in Guj's Gir

Junagadh (Gujarat), Jan 3 (UNI) In a fascinating and recherché milieu, a lioness has been spotted rearing and feeding a tiny leopard cub with her milk, in western parts of Gir forests here, the first time a wild cat is seen to have adopted a cub from another species in the region.

DCF of West Gir Dhiraj Mittal on Thursday told UNI that he has seen, photographed and filmed the rare incident in the forests in Junagadh district.

"The leopard cub is around 2 months old and is being seen with the lioness and its two own cubs for past at least 6 days. It has so mixed up with the lioness that he was treating it like its own mother. The big cat was also looking equally fond of it. She was feeding it with her own milk along with two lion cubs of whom she was the natural mother," Mr Mittal said.

"It was possible that the mother of the leopard cub had either died or was also somewhere around but can't dare to come to the lioness with whom it had now so mixed up," he said.

In a brief touchy note about the incident, the DCF has termed the cub as 'Leopard Mowgli' and lioness as 'Raksha.'

He wrote, 'An unprecedented story is in the making in the lap of Gir, where a leopard cub is reared and protected by a large mother lioness along with her two cubs. Surprising is to see how a leopard cub understands the sings and sounds of the mother lioness. The lioness is taking extra care as she understands that the leopard cub is not able to match her pace and her cubs. The male lions are roaming in the area and mother is guarding the cubs. Its mid blowing.'

'Gir is a treasure of natural wonder and perhaps this event is the Kohinoor of them all. Kudos to team of forest staff who observed this so keenly and I am fortunate to witness such a natural wonder,' he has further written in the note.


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