The adorable moment between the seven-week-old cub and his father was captured in a series of beautiful photos.
At first, the newborn seemed nervous to approach his father, but quickly got comfortable and began to playfully scratch and bite him.
These incredible photos were taken by talented photographer Suzi Eszterhas, who spent months tracking the pride.
Taken at the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, Eszterhas waited patiently for the perfect scene and captured it beautifully.
She followed the newborn and his two siblings when they were only three weeks old after catching sight of them.
At this age, they stay with their mother until they are big enough to meet their father. In this case, the mother decided they were old enough and brought them to meet the pride, including the father. Thankfully, Eszterhas was there to capture the moment.
But the father was nothing more than tender in the way he interacted with the cubs.
“Newborn animals are always difficult to photograph,” says Eszterhas. “You spend a lot of time just waiting while they are tucked away, completely hidden in long grass, deep brush, or a cave.”
“In this case, I followed the pride for three months, every day from sunrise to sunset, from the time the cubs were only three weeks old.”
“In these scenes, the mother brought them out of the den to meet the pride for the first time, including their father.”
“The cub was a bit shy and apprehensive, but the father was very gentle. In the other photos, the cubs are more familiar with the father and are playing with him.”
“The father reacted by gently playing with them and often growling.”
“In both situations, the mother was sitting nearby, watching very closely, ready to pounce on the father if he got a bit too rough with her cubs.”