It's thought that when a male lion takes over a pride, he kills or ejects the previous leader's male children to assert his dominance as well as eliminate any possible competition. Once he sires his own children, he'll eventually kick them out of the pride when they reach maturity to retain control.
Professor David Macdonald, who founded the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University, agreed Cecil's death would lead to a "cascade" of other deaths.
"The death of one lion is not just the death of one lion - it is a cascade. It has consequences," he told the BBC.
However, the cubs' fate is not necessarily sealed. Some female lions have been known to hide or "disguise" their young in order to keep them in the pride during the transition.
Whether or not Cecil's cubs are still alive isn't known, but there is little that conservationists can do for them at this point. Cecil was killed on July 1, so the next lion in the hierarchy could have already killed the cubs. Rodrigues pointed out that it's also possible he took them on as his own.