And so it continues…Messages from our President on TV have now become repetitions of “thank you” to a multitude of people in professions that are trying to keep South Africans healthy. Our police and Defence Force are taking their powers too seriously and there are, as in any large under-developed country, those who don’t believe that the virus will affect them. We also need to be aware of the homeless, the underprivileged of all colours who are forced to live in close quarters in less than hygienic conditions.
This lion was watching a female that I was unable to see from where our vehicle was parked. But all that was about to change and the action unfolded in front of us. Licking his lips in anticipation of another round? Possibly…
Often it is the females that will instigate intimacy, as in this case. She had been lying behind some foilage and I had not been able to get a clear sighting of her. But once she came out, ready to ‘play’ it was a different story
This mating took place at 16h45 and the research will tell you hat lions will mate every 20-30 minutes. The group on the vehicle decided to put that theory to the test to see how accurate it was. On average in the wild lions only mate every second year.
Often, after copulation, the female will roll over on her back, so as to rid herself of the scent of the male in preparation for the next mating. Both male and female will move away from each other, giving space for both animals to recover from what can be frenzied and noisy intimacy.
You too might have an expression like this if you knew that mating would occur 20-40 times a day for 4-5 days! Even if each event takes less than 20 seconds…
At 2,5cm, the penis of a lion does not rate on the Top 10 mammal genitalia list. That being said, it does get to see a lot of action during the time that the female is ovulating and ready for mating.
The theory was correct as the second copulation took place at 17h13, 28 minutes after the first interaction. Females can mate with more than one male in a pride when she is in heat and often both are so focussed on copulation that they might forget to eat.
There is usually a LOT of snarling and growling during the act. This is due, in part, to the fact that the penis has backwards-facing spines that will hurt the female when withdrawal occurs. Both sexes are polygamous but females are usually restricted to the one or two adult males of their pride.
After all the action we witnessed, it looked like this male had had enough and was taking time out to stop and smell the flowers. This was the only clear predator sighting that I had while I was in the reserve.
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