Last Sunday, as he crouched over their father’s carcass, a Kenyan lion contemplated whether or not it would be worth it to eat his two stepsons.
The lion had just recently mauled his stepsons’ father, thus stepping into the role of the deceased. Though he did feel the pangs of paternal affection toward the month-old cubs, he also knew that devouring their flesh would not only grant him sustenance but also relieve their mothers—his new wives—of burdensome childcare duties as well.
Knowledgeable in the ways of savannah society and basic evolutionary theory, the lion was reportedly well-aware that there were pros and cons to violently dispatching of his newly-acquired children.
The lion supposed that leaving the cubs alive may allow him to establish dominance over them, which would assure his authority and bolster his pride. In addition, the lion thought letting the cubs live may also help him to woo the female lions, perhaps making amends for the slaughter of their previous mate.
Conversely, the lion’s evolutionary instincts reminded him that if he committed infanticide, the lionesses would be ready to start having his own offspring, a notion much more appealing to him than raising some “dead-beat loser’s kids.”
After many hours of deliberation, the lion opted for a compromise, deciding to off one of the cubs in a bid for respect from the other. Reports vary as to the success of this measure, but the lion’s new mate was allegedly greatly displeased.