The two lion cubs born on BBC‘s Dynasties this weekend have died, the film crew has revealed.
Sunday’s episode chronicling the life of the Marsh Pride in Kenya’s Masai Mara saw two little lions born to its leader, single mother Charm.
However, when the crew returned to Kenya after filming had ended, they discovered that the two lion cubs had not survived and may have been killed by predators.
Heartbreaking: The two adorable baby cubs introduced in Sunday’s episode of Dynasties died after filming ended, according to the crew
David Attenborough’s latest BBC One show Dynasties has five episodes, each focusing on a different animal, and on Sunday the turn had come to lions.
The Marsh Pride is led by 14-year-old Charm and her cousin Sienna – two single mothers with four cubs each, the oldest three years old – the equivalent of a lion teenager.
Having been abandoned by the males of the pride, it is down to Charm to protect and feed the clan, and on Sunday she could be seen fighting off a herd of buffalo on her own.
Buffalo often kill lion cubs in a bid to weaken their predators, and the nail-biting scene saw a large herd approach as the two cubs cowered under a fallen tree.
Charm was seen shielding her young with her body and scaring the buffalo off after a tense stand-off, foiling their attempts to trample the cubs to death.
Circle of life: The two cubs, who were introduced to the pride aged just a few weeks, are likely to have been killed by predators or buffalo
Family first: The Marsh Pride is led by 14-year-old Charm and her cousin Sienna, both single mothers with four cubs each after the males abandoned the pride
Charm returns to her sick baby cub but she cannot remain with him or the others in the pack will starve without her
But despite her brave defence of her little ones, the Dynasties film crew, who followed the pride for 18 months, recently discovered that the two cubs had not survived.
‘The most likely explanation is that they were taken by hyenas or another predator or even trampled by buffaloes,’ a show insider told The Mirror.
‘No one can be sure, but what became clear was they were no longer with Charm, and there was no way they could have survived alone at a few weeks old.’
However, the film crew also revealed that since the death of the male and female cub, Charm has given birth to two more.
Dynasties, featuring Sir David Attenborough, pictured, follows true stories of five of the world’s most celebrated, yet endangered animals
Sunday’s hour-long episode saw another heart-wrenching moment, when one of Charm’s cubs was poisoned.
Farmers in Kenya’s Masai Mara sometimes use toxic meat where the lions graze, in a bid to kill them off and protect their livestock.
In the show, Charm’s one-year-old son was poisoned by the toxic meat and forced to leave him to die.
It showed the emotional moment when Charm said goodbye to her young cub and walked away from him with the rest of the pride.