Female Lion Cub Separated From Her Pride Is Taken In By An Unlikely New Family

In the wild, it's every animal for themselves. And while we love to romanticize the tales that come from habitats like the jungle and the desert (hello, The Lion King!), we shouldn't forget that these places aren't just exciting for our furry friends—they're extremely dangerous.

For instance, young animals in the wild immediately learn that they'll have to stay strong—and stick with their families—if they want to survive. Looking cute might be a perk in the human world, but that definitely won't ensure your survival in the animal kingdom.

So when one adorable lion cub grew ill, it was no surprise that her pride left her to fend for herself. A sickly cub would only slow down the pride, and they couldn't risk that. How would the cub survive without her family?

In February of 2012, a dying female lion cub was discovered on the outskirts of a farm in Botswana. She was starving and could barely move, so her rescuers knew they had to act quickly if they wanted to bring her back from the brink of death.
Her rescuers named the young cub Sirga, and they were hopeful that she would be able to hang on with their tender love and care. Sirga's story was an unspeakable one. For a cub so young, she'd endured a tremendous amount already...
Sirga was one of three young cubs born to her Botswana-based pride. When the two other cubs passed away and Sirga's own health began to fail, the pride decided to leave her to fend for herself. Without the protection from her pride, Sirga's fate seemed bleak...
Conservationist Valentin Gruener led the team that found Sirga. He spearheaded a campaign to bring the young cub back to his headquarters and treat her for malnutrition and exposure to the elements.