Panthera’s Proud Feline Mothers of 2024

By Panthera

Lion mom

Celebrate Mother's Day with us as we honor the remarkable mothers of the wild! Panthera is thrilled to cast a spotlight on the feline matriarchs who have made significant contributions to conservation in the past year. Across our project sites worldwide, these wild cat mothers have not only given birth but have also nurtured and protected their cubs with unwavering dedication. Much like the mothers or mother figures in our own lives, these matriarchs are instrumental in the flourishing of their offspring. Join us in recognizing some of the extraordinary wild cat mothers who have captured our hearts this year: 

The Konkamoya Lion Mother

Konkamoya female
The Konkamoya female and her young cubs.
©charlotte searle/wildcru

The Konkamoya female, a lion mother in Zambia’s Greater Kafue Ecosystem, was away looking for food for her little cubs when a fire threatened their safety. Panthera Zambia staff and partners stepped in to put out the blaze — saving the vulnerable, four-day-old cubs. Since then, their mother has helped several cubs survive to adulthood, ensuring that lion numbers grow in this important catscape. 

The Nkala Cheetah Mother

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Any mother knows that it’s a lot of work. The same goes for this cheetah mother, who raised three males and one female in Zambia’s Kafue National Park. She taught them the basics of cheetah behavior — guiding them and hunting for them, as you can see in the video below. 

Now, her three sons are set to start a coalition. This rare story is a testament to her parenthood. For a species whose numbers hover around only 7,100 in the wild, a three-male coalition in Zambia is a true conservation achievement. 

Mariposa and Cayenita

Mariposa and two cubs

While she may not have had four cubs at the same time, Mariposa, a jaguar from Colombia named after the Spanish word for “butterfly”, has had eleven daughters over her long life. Thanks to Panthera Colombia and the Barragan family with the special support of Jorge Barragan, we have monitored the jaguars of Hato la Aurora Private Nature Reserve in Colombia for nearly 15 years and have learned a great deal about their livelihoods, including Mariposa’s family tree. Eleven daughters mean eleven more family trees — greatly helping this Near Threatened species. 

Not only has Mariposa had eleven daughters, but her own daughter, Cayenita, has also given birth to eleven daughters, making this wild cat success story one spanning three generations. Healthy populations of female jaguars are crucial to protecting the Jaguar Corridor — especially this an important hotspot in Colombia, the boundary between Central and South America. 

Scout the Puma

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Puma mothers journey through Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, searching for food for their young. Scout is one of these pumas — orphaned at a young age, the odds were stacked against her survival. She started by hunting raccoons, and then, as she matured, worked up her ability to take down deer. She has now had a litter of two kittens at the tender age of two. Against all odds, she persevered when most evidence suggested that she would starve to death and die. 

Do these inspiring wild cat mothers remind you of an important woman in your life? Send your loved one a free, wild cat-themed e-card to wish them a happy Mother’s Day! Just like wild cat mothers, human mothers and figures help raise their children, keep them safe and provide for them. Share this blog with that influential woman in your life to show how much you care!