By Bilal Kuchay
This heartwarming footage captures a rare sighting of lion cubs playing a game of hide and seek in the dead of night.
Keeping a tree as ‘base’ for their play session, the adorable cubs can be seen running after one another as they hide from their siblings.
The moment was captured by Pieter van Wyk, who works as a Ranger in Mala Mala Game Reserve in Mpumalanga province of South Africa.
Pieter said it was one of the longest play sessions by the lion cubs he had witnessed and the first game of hide and seek he’d seen them play.
He said: “I was guiding a group of guests in MalaMala Game Reserve when we saw these adorable cubs.
“What followed was an incredible play session by the cubs.
“It was the longest play session I’d seen and the first during which the cubs mimicked a game of hide and seek with the tree almost acting as a safe base – the centre point of their game.
“My guests and I loved every moment of it. It was adorable, cute and funny.”
Mala Mala Game Reserve is the largest and the oldest private big five game reserve in South Africa.
Pieter, who has been photographing wild animals in the reserve for years now, say cubs often play like this to learn the skills of the hunt.
He added: “Cubs often play games like this. This way, they learn the skills of the hunt.”