Heartwarming Moment: Lioness Rescues Her Cub from a Perilous Fall at Zoo Miami

In a heart-stopping incident captured on video by a 10-year-old girl, an incredible display of maternal instinct unfolded at Zoo Miami when lioness Kashifa saved one of her cubs from falling into a moat.

The awe-inspiring footage showcases the lioness’s remarkable agility and quick thinking.

Kashifa watches after a total of five cubs, all under one year of age

Kashifa, who proudly oversees a pride of five cubs, can be seen cautiously descending a steep embankment in the video.


With utmost care, she reaches out and grasps her 4-month-old cub by its back, ensuring its safe rescue from the potential danger of the moat.

Kashifa had four cubs of her own last year. She began looking after her nephew Kwasi when her sister, Asha, died a few months after giving birth.

Onlookers at Zoo Miami held their breath as the protective lioness brought her cub back to safety. A wave of jubilation erupted through the crowd as they cheered the triumphant rescue.

Ten-year-old Amanda Carmeli, who filmed the scene, shared that the rest of the pride later greeted the rescued cub with gentle licks, providing comfort and reassurance.


Zoo Miami’s spokesperson, Ron Magill, explained that the zoo’s design allows animals to roam in open-moated exhibits without physical barriers.

Zoo Miami last year celebrated the birth of lion cubs for the first time in its 33 years. Staff says that the cubs are quite happy playing around in their habitat, though every once in a while, one falls into the moat — requiring rescue from mama.

Consequently, there was always a concern that the cubs might inadvertently fall into the moat. Before being introduced to the exhibit, each cub underwent a swim test to ensure their safety.

Kashifa assumed the role of caretaker for her nephew, Kwasi, following the untimely demise of her sister, Asha.


Since September, when Zoo Miami joyfully celebrated the birth of three lions—a historic event after 33 years—Kashifa has been diligently looking after her cubs.

One of Kashifa’s cubs scratches his mom’s back while she keeps a watchful eye on the rest of her pride.

Magill expressed confidence in Kashifa’s maternal instincts, stating, “She had demonstrated to us before that she would go into the water to rescue her cubs, and she proved it once again in this video.”

This heartwarming display of love and bravery serves as a testament to the deep bonds that exist within lion prides.

Zoo staff says that Kashifa is a fierce lioness, always watching to ensure nothing happens to her five cubs.

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