The lion is a majestic animal that represents the king of the jungle. However, even the lion has a soft side. As with most creatures on this planet, when it comes to their offspring, they will defend them with their lives. Their offspring is symbolic of carrying on their genes. In the same note, it also puts the cubs lives in danger if another lion tries to mate with the mother. They will kill any offspring from the other lion. That being said, that lion would have to fight to get there because the parents of the cub will fight until death. This is a very symbolic image and that is why people will get the lion and cub tattoo.
In this post we will talk about the lion and cub tattoo and what it symbolizes in the form of a tattoo. We must understand the habits of the lion and how they react with their cubs to understand the symbolic tones of this tattoo. By the end of this post we hope you have a better understanding of what the lion and cub tattoo symbolizes and why people are getting this tattoo at a high clip.
About the Lion and Their Cubs
Typically, a lioness will birth between one and four cubs in a litter. Because cubs are slow developers, the lioness keeps them hidden from all animals. The cubs are completely helpless for a while and can’t even open their eyes until they’re between 3 and 11 days old. The lioness will introduce the cubs to the pride and about 8 weeks.
The saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”, rings true and even more so with the lions and their cubs. Since they all give birth around the same time, the lioness watch and protect each other’s young. However, if there is another lioness with cubs 3 months or older, the lioness with the new young will not rejoin the pride because there isn’t enough milk to go around and the other cubs will grow stronger while the smaller cubs starve.
At around three months old, the cubs start learning to hunt. Contrary to belief, the females aren’t the only ones that hunt so all cubs must learn this crucial skill. Their lives depend on it. Even if the cubs are still nursing at this time, the lioness takes the cub to eat the kill.
Cubs have two major threats when growing. Only about 40 to 80 percent of the cubs live past their first birthday and this is because of starvation and invading male lions. In the case of invading lions, a group of males will be on the hunt for a pride of females to take over. They must first kill or chase off any male lions with the pride and when they do that, they will turn to the cubs and kill them if they can. By doing this, the lions ensure the females go into heat faster and their offspring will be the ones roaming the earth.
Lion and Cub Tattoo Meaning
On their own, the lion tattoo is a symbol of royalty and strength. However, as with most things, the offspring can make one weak. You pull down those tough defenses and let your soft side out. The big and tough lion is soft when it comes to dealing with its young.
In these cases, the lion and cub tattoo stand for protection and parental instincts. When someone gets a tattoo of a male lion with their cub, it symbolizes their relationship with their father. Maybe their father was the one to always look out for them and protect them. Their father taught them about life and stood by their side as they grew up. It could also be a memorial tattoo for a father that has passed.
When the tattoo is of the female lion and their cub, it also speaks to the relationship of the person with the tattoo and their mother. A lioness will defend her young with her life. You might see this tattoo on either a person to represent their mother and themselves or they might get it to symbolize their duty as a mother to protect her own children. It is a strong image that means the bond between mother and child is a very strong one.
Lion and Cub Tattoo Variations
When the lion and cub tattoo is seen, it can mean different things and be portrayed in different ways. Below are a couple of variations of the lion and cub tattoo that we have seen. These might give you a few ideas to go into the shop with.
Lion (Father) and Cub Tattoo
The lion and cub tattoo is one variation we see a lot. You might even see the tattoo done in the characters of Mufasa and Simba. These two are from the Disney movie The Lion King and represent a strong bond between father and son.
Lioness and Cub Tattoo
The lioness and cub tattoo is probably more common as the relationship between mother and child is probably the strongest one you will see. This variation is popular amongst women when they have a child. Letting the world know that she will go to the ends of the earth to protect her loved ones.
Lion and Cub Hunting Tattoo
This tattoo symbolizes what your parent has taught you or what you plan to teach your child. The lion must teach their young to hunt so they can survive when they grow to be an adult and it is no different for humans. We must teach them other skills but, in a way, it is still the same. The child must learn to survive on their own and your parents are around to help you along the way.
If you are thinking of getting a lion and cub tattoo, we hope you did your research. Make sure to see an artist with experience in animal tattooing and if you need help finding an artist to complete your tattoo, we can help with a recommendation.