Tuesday, 15 July 2014

When Lions Honeymoon In Tsavo

The 'Old Girls Pride' male and female on Honeymoon in Tsavo East

Although lions are induced ovulators, meaning that the stimulation of mating causes the ovaries to release the eggs (rather than awaiting the estrous cycle), we usually notice that during the rainy season, the big cats of Tsavo seem to get alittle more in the mood for romance. 

A mating pair, or as i like to refer to them as a 'honeymoon pair' such as this one, will stay together for three to four days and mate every 20 minutes or so. Looking at the clear expression on the lions faces, the actual act of lovemaking is quite a painful experience and is not all cuddles and purrs!

Despite number of times they copulate, the success rate for her egg's being fertilized is not that high. 
In the event that she does get pregnant, the gestation period is about 3.5 months and she will give birth to between two and six little cubs. While the lioness faces the challenges of motherhood and if the cubs manage to survive despite all the odds against them, she will not give birth again for another two to three years while they are still under her care. From the third year, the cubs are now sub adults and the males are normally ousted from the pride while the female sub adults usually continue to integrate with their aunts, sisters and cousin sisters in the same pride.

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