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Beautiful Moment Lion Cub Meets Its Dad For The First Time

Despite being the king of the jungle, this daddy lion appears to be as soft as a cat when meeting his newborn cub for the first time

Nice to meet you: Father and son lay eyes on one another for the first time, as the cub's protective mother keeps a close watch nearby

The heartwarming moment between the seven-week-old cub and his father was captured in a beautiful series of photos.

Initially, the newborn seems nervous to approach his father, but quickly got comfortable and began to playfully scratch and bite his father.

He reached up and planted a sweet kiss on his father’s head after the pair finished playfighting.

Hi dad: The seven-week-old cub appears to plant a kiss on his father's head

These incredible photos were taken by talented photographer Suzi Eszterhas who spent months tracking the pride.

Taken at the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, Eszterhas waited patiently for the perfect scene, and she seems to have got it!

She followed the newborn and his two siblings when they were only three weeks old after catching sight of them

Fatherly pride: The adult lion places a protective paw on his cub's back as the pair meet for the first time on the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

At this age, they stay with their mother until they are big enough to meet the father, in this case, the mother decided they were old enough.

So she brought them to meet the pride, including the father, and thankfully, Eszterhas was there to capture the moment.

The mother lioness kept a close eye on all the cubs’ interactions with their father to make sure the father wasn’t too rough.

Playful: The excitable cub may have been a little too eager with his claws judging by the expression on his father's face

But the father was nothing more than tender in the way he interacted with the cubs.

“Newborn animals are always difficult to photograph,” says Eszterhas. “You spend a lot of time just waiting while they are tucked away, completely hidden in long grass, deep brush, or a cave.”

“But if you put in enough hours, you will be there when the mother brings them out into the open.”

“In this case, I followed the pride for three months, every day from sunrise to sunset, from the time the cubs were only three weeks old.”

Ouch: The adult lion bares his impressive teeth as the cub appears to playfully bite his father, watched by a sibling

“In these scenes, the mother brought them out of the den to meet the pride for the first time, including their father.”

“The cub was a bit shy and apprehensive but the father was very gentle. In the other photos, the cubs are more familiar with the father and are playing with him.”

“The father reacted by gently playing with them and often growling.”

“In both situations, the mother was sitting nearby, watching very closely, ready to pounce on the father if he got a bit too rough with her cubs.”

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Written by Joe Kahlo