Perhaps the "genuinely unique" experience happened because the lioness has a litter of cubs that are about the same age as the approximately 3-week-old leopard, and her maternal instincts kicked in when she encountered the cub, said Luke Hunter, the president and chief conservation officer of Panthera, a global wild cat conservation nonprofit based in New York City.
Whatever the reason, the cub's future is uncertain. If the lioness brings it back to her litter, it's unlikely that the rest of the pride would accept it, Hunter said. The best-case scenario would be for the leopard's mother to reclaim her baby, he said. [ Read the Full Story on the Lioness Nursing the Leopard Cub]
Leopards are now regionally extinct in these areas: Hong Kong, Jordan, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Singapore, the Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, the IUCN reported.
[ Read the Full Story on the Lioness Nursing the Leopard Cub]