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Steve Morvell Australian Wildlife Artist Pastel painting Strange toys - African lion cubs

‘ Strange toys - African lion cubs ’

African lion cubs have always been a great source of joy for me when meeting them in their natural state, in the wild and unafraid. This pair of little mischief makers were maybe 10 weeks of age and carefully monitored by their mother...a well-known lioness nicknamed Limpy who lived in the Balule Conservancy in Greater Kruger Park, South Africa. Although mum was only about 8 metres away reclining on a large termite mound, she showed no distress at all, dozing peacefully while her two fuzzy little bubs gave in to their curiosity and toddled over to flop down 3 metres from our open game drive vehicle. While they contemplated these curious humans at the same time (like all little kids) they grew a tad bored with us just sitting watching and proceeded to entertain themselves with the dried elephant droppings upon which they had chosen to rest. I cannot vouch for the taste of elephant poo but I can say that lion cubs find it more interesting to chomp than I ever could.
This pastel painting which I have titled 'Strange toys - African lion cubs' will maybe go some way to raising awareness that lions are not the relentless killers that many humans have made them out to be. Like most beings (including me) they are usually very tolerant and respond quite happily if approached in the right way and with mindful awareness. My everlasting thanks go to our driver Liam Burrough and our tracker, Themba who placed us so near and so carefully. Last we saw of the cubs they toddled back up the termite mound to mum for a much overdue drink.

Pastel on Colourfix paper 56 X 41cm.
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