The lion cubs that warmed hearts on the latest episode of Dynasties have died.
Sunday night’s episode followed the Marsh Pride in Kenya’s Masai Mara, with strong, independent lioness Charm giving birth to two beautiful lion cubs; one male, one female.
Viewers were utterly besotted by the little cubs, who devoted mum Charm had defended so ferociously against buffalo. Everyone within the pride and at home had been rooting for the newborns to survive and thrive.
The two lion cubs had been born away from the rest of the pride and only met their fellow lions when they were six weeks old.
Sadly, when the crew headed back to Kenya after the documentary had wrapped up they made a tragic discovery. The two young lions had passed away, and it is thought they could have been killed by predators or buffalo.
A source told the Mirror:
The most likely explanation is that they were taken by hyenas or another predator or even trampled by buffaloes.
No one can be sure, but what became clear was they were no longer with Charm, and there was no way they could have survived alone at a few weeks old.
The crew also discovered how resilient Charm had birthed two more cubs, with her eldest daughter also giving birth to three. Despite ongoing troubles and uncertainty, the pride is continuing to push forward, bringing new life and hope into the world.
— Savr Mankaev (@rhyel0) November 25, 2018
Unfortunately, lions are facing problems with human-wildlife conflict as those who live near livestock areas are sometimes killed by eating carcasses deliberately poisoned by people protecting their livestock. #Dynasties pic.twitter.com/wsiwy1R04o
— WWF UK (@wwf_uk) November 25, 2018
The loss of these babies is even more devastating to think about when you consider the struggles the Marsh Pride – and Charm herself – had already endured.
Abandoned by male lions, lioness cousins Charm and Sienna took over as leaders of the pride. Both single mothers, the cousins had four cubs between them, the eldest being four years old.
In Sunday’s episode, viewers were left in bits when Charm was forced to leave her one-year-old son to die after he ate toxic meat. The BBC Dynasties crew reportedly intervened to save the cub, breaking protocol to call the vets, but to no avail.
According to a report:
They [the crew] informed Masai Mara National Reserve Management and Governor’s Camp management, who in turn sought the veterinary unit’s help.
Farmers in the surrounding area reportedly sometimes deliberately use toxic meat near where the pride grazes, trying to kill them off in a bid to protect their livestock.
#Dynasties @BBCOne. Filming/watching Sienna the wounded lioness struggle & disappear, and Charm's poisoned cub die – with only 20,000 wild #Lions left – should we observe or intervene? 'Retweet' if you think intervene. 'Like' if you think observe.@BornFreeFDN pic.twitter.com/Mf07PKRRRr
— Will Travers (@willtravers) November 25, 2018
The two lion cubs on #Dynasties have died… my heart can't take this 💔
— Imogen (@imogen_chloe27) November 28, 2018
David Attenborough Dynasty’s is heartbreaking😭 last week David the monkey was found dead and this week the lion cubs are dead🐒🦁😢
— Shannon Flannigan (@shannonflann) November 28, 2018
Another pride, with six male leaders, have now moved into Charm’s territory; forcing the resourceful lioness to lead her own pride northward up to an adjoining reserve.
Thankfully, the filmmakers have since reported how Charm and Sienna are thriving, continuing to lead their pride with the unwavering strength which won them so much admiration and respect following the episode.
Once again absolutely balling my eyes out at dynasties! The way the mother lion is constantly looking back whilst abandoning the Male cub…. David what are you doing to us 😩😩😩 #dynasties
— leviCornish (@soasmum) November 27, 2018
— Jake 🤗 (@Jakep010923) November 26, 2018
If that’s not heartbreaking, here are several reasons why Dynasties isn’t David Attenborough’s best show.
The next episode of Dynasties, entitled Painted Wolf, will air on December 2, 2018
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.