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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mating of African Lions from the savannahs of Maasai Mara, Kenya

Seeing a lion, the true king of the African jungle, in the wild is quite a surreal experience. Seeing it together with a lioness is a bonus. Seeing it with 2 lionesses is a double bonus and seeing it mate with these 2 lionesses for more than 10 minutes is a dream come true altogether.

A Lion groans during a mating session
Typically, we get to see such events only  on the television when the likes of National Geographic, Discovery or Animal Planet show it. We watch in wonder as these events unfold on TV, but it is quite a different experience to watch it take place at about 15 to 20 feet from you.



You get to see the mannerisms of the animals, hear the grunt that comes from deep within (no wonder it is called the animal grunt), see the clenching of teeth, watch the seduction and sometimes even fights.

Lion chases the lioness
Here’s how the events unfolded…There was an hour to go for sunset and I was on my game drive exploring the savannahs of Maasai Mara when we suddenly noticed a lioness. As soon as we stopped, we noticed that it was not alone and there was a lion and another lioness next to it.

Lion and lioness stare at each other
Shortly, the Lion got up, tried to attract the lioness’s attention and started off with the first mating session. Then there was another and another. The lion went 5 times with 2 lionesses in less than 10 minutes. My guide told me that in his 17 year wildlife guide career, he did not see such a healthy lion. He sure looked real strong.

The Lion looks up during the mating session
In between these mating sessions, the attraction mechanism would switch sides and the lioness would lead sometimes. There were 2 events that really stuck into my mind. One, the guttural sounds emitted by the lion during the mating session and second, the way he flopped down contented after every single mating session.

Animal instincts?
These are some things that you can only feel while seeing it in real and not on television. These are such treasured feelings and memories.



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