Female lions, lionesses, can give birth to cubs all year round. However, female lions are usually 3-4 years old before they have their first litters. Gestation is usually between 110 to 120 days. Typically, 2-3 cubs are born. When the lionesses are ready to give birth, they leave their family pride and find a den in thick bushes so she can protect and hide the newborn cubs. Being exceedingly small, they need the protection from Mom from large birds, snakes, and other male lions. Until they are old enough to join the pride, the mother keeps a close watch over them and makes sure they are fed. At about 3 months they are strong enough to keep up with the pride as they hunt for food. They may look cuddly, but they have sharp claws, teeth, and an attitude. On a safari, we often see older cubs but seldom see noticeably young ones. It is a treat when we see a cub 3-4 months old.