This small Lion cub was playing very determinedly with the piece of wood.
The picture was taken at The Bronx Zoo in New York.
Lions (Panthera leo) are one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild Lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India, having disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times.
Lions are a vulnerable species, having seen large, possibly irreversible, population decline over the past two decades in its African range. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern.
Lions live for ten to fourteen years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than twenty years. In the wild, males seldom live longer than ten years, as injuries sustained from fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity. Zoos are cooperating worldwide in breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic subspecies (See my pictures of the Asiatic Lions at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland).
Lions at The Bronx Zoo in New York.