Lions don’t have to work at keeping their young with them so much as the cubs WANT to be with their mothers. For the first few weeks of life cubs need to suckle from their mother or any other female lion in the pride. This keeps cubs with the other lions because they need milk. Then as they get older the biggest reason to stay with the pride (aside from their animal instincts to stay with their pride) is out of fear. Starvation, predators, stampedes, and being killed by male lions leads to about 80% of cubs dying before they reach 2 years old. The protection of the mother lion and other female lions keeps cubs nearby. As cubs get older and live past the two year mark they stay with the pride simply because that is how lions live: in prides.
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