The dramatic rescue, captured by wildlife photographer Jean-Francois Largot, was played out in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Clinging on for dear life to the side of a vertical cliff, the tiny lion cub cries out pitifully for help.
The drama begins: His mother arrives at the edge of the cliff with three other lionesses and a male. The females start to climb down together but turn back stopped by the sheer drop-off.
Her son cries out for help, unable to move without falling further.
Eventually one single factor determines which of them will risk her life to save the youngster – motherly love.
Slowly, agonizingly, the lioness edges her way down towards her terrified son, using her powerful claws to grip the crumbling cliff side.
One slip from her and both of them could end up dead at the bottom of the ravine.
Just as the exhausted cub seems about to fall, his mother circles beneath him and he is snatched up in her jaws.
She then begins the equally perilous journey back to the top.
Minutes later, they arrive and she gives her son a comforting lick on his head.