When these five baby animals were all abandoned by their mothers their chances of survival were slim. But now the three lions, a tiger, and a spotted hyena are having a happier time at the Akwaaba Lodge in Rustenburg, South Africa, where they live under one roof. The owner of the four- star hotel, Layla Cajee, has raised the cubs from birth. She said: ‘The animals were born in the lodge but I had to adopt them after they were rejected by their mothers - for being the runts of the family. ’In the wild, they would not have stood a chance of survival without their mother’s protection. So it’s nice to see them growing up together.’
Bella the tiger, five months, is the leader of the pack, while the three lions, Delano, Romeo and Maximus, are also five months, but more timid. Meanwhile the eldest - Milika the hyena, six months - is the most mischievous in the motley crew. Layla said: ‘The naughtiest of them all is Milika - she’s very boisterous and likes to play fight with her siblings.’
The animals share the same living enclosures and even share meal times together. Layla said: ‘They do squabble over food and the dominant one - the tiger - will come and take her share first. But I try to ensure that all the animals get the same amount and the same cut of meat to prevent them from fighting. After meal times they usually cuddle up together and have a nap.’
But these cute cuddly creatures will transform into predators in two year’s time - so they will be split up and live in separate enclosures.
Photos by: Ruaridh Connellan | article