The photographs of animals and birds that are posted on our web site are invariably taken “in the wild” and not in zoos or other places where the animals or birds are confined in limited spaces. This post, though, is an exception! The photographs shown here are taken in the Natal Lion Park near Pietermatizburg in KZN, South Africa, but we thought they were of sufficient interest to justify the exception.
There are about fourteen lions and lionesses in the open air enclosure at the Lion Park, both of the typically tawny coloured variety and also a few lighter “white” lions. Shortly after we entered the enclosure it became apparent to us from the amount of attention that she was receiving form several of the lions, that one of the lionesses was in heat.
Lions do not have a specific “breeding season” and therefore it was not surprising to see this mating activity taking place in mid-winter. During the forty minutes or so that we were in their presence, the dominant male mated with the receptive female three times, and also spent a little time keeping one of the other mature males from doing likewise.
Each mating event took only a few seconds and was accompanied by much growling and biting on the part of the male, but the female submitted without significant resistance.