By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung
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Gathering everyone together for the perfect snap can be a struggle, especially if you have eight kids.
But that was not the case for these three lionesses and their playful cubs, as they posed for the camera to create a beautiful photo good enough to add to the family album.
Shot in the Serengeti Loliondo Conservation in Tanzania, the incredible images show a photographer’s once in a lifetime encounter with the lionesses and their eight cubs as they stare directly into the lens of her camera.
Wildlife photographer, Barbara Fleming, was pleasantly surprised when she began to head home at the end of her safari trip and came across the magical sighting.
She said: “I had heard that there were large prides of lion in this area but had never seen them in the 10 years of exploring and photographing the park.
“I was really not expecting much in the way of lion encounters as we headed north for the last part of our safari. But as so often happens, it all changed in just a moment.
“As we crested a hill and began making our way down, lush green grasses covered the landscape as far as the eye could see.”
Barbara, who shot from her vehicle less that 100 yards from the lion family, said: “In the midst but miraculously near the road, we spotted three healthy female lions lying atop an overgrown termite mound.
"As we approached and stopped to photograph, eight tiny cubs emerged slowly one after the other from a nearby thicket. One by one they trundled up the hill and lay down next to one of the females.”
A typical pride of lions consists of six females that are related and they often give birth around the same time. They then form a ‘creche’ to rear the cubs together for one to two years.
The Washington born explained: “Cubs will be able to suckle indiscriminately from all the nursing females in the pride. This allows for greater protection and an equal chance of survival.
“I’ve had a number of amazing experiences with lions in the Serengeti, but this has to be one of my all-time favourites.
“I will never get a shot like I did, with all eight cubs perfectly aligned and facing me, particularly with none blinking! Magic!”