Mating lions

On safari in Serengeti National Park, our guide had heard that two lions had been mating since the day before. Some background from wikipedia: “during a mating bout, which could last several days, the couple copulates twenty to forty times a day and are likely to forgo eating”.  “As with other cats, the male lion’s penis has spines which point backwards. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female’s vagina, which may cause ovulation.”

When we arrived, the lions were lying on the road.

lions on the road
lions on the road

The female got up and walked away.  The male followed.

female walks away
female walks away
male follows
male follows

Of course, all the vehicles followed the couple. This vehicle was too close and not from our safari.

land cruiser invading the lions' space
land cruiser invading the lions’ space

The lions continued walking and stopped again.  The land cruisers followed.

female waits and male yawns
female waits and male yawns

The female got up and walked off, with the male close behind.  Our guide said that the time is right.

male lion following closely
male lion following closely

The land cruisers tried to follow. The male mounted the female.  After our vehicle stopped, I had time for only a single photo.

climax
climax

It seemed like it was over in an instant. Reviewing photo capture times, 20 seconds elapsed between the male following photo and the climax photo.

See the female reaching her head back and snarling.  Evidently it hurts a lot when the male withdraws his penis and the backward-facing spines rake her vagina. I’ve read on another blog that the male makes a quick exit because the female might hurt him while in pain. Thirty seconds later, the female is resting.

male lion looking at female
male lion looking at female

Twenty-five minutes had elapsed since we first saw the lions on the road; the next cycle would probably take at least that long.  It was 5:40 pm; we started the long drive back to camp.

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Published by

charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

2 thoughts on “Mating lions”

  1. We saw lions mating in the crater…. Part of me felt a bit wrong watching it all – like some freaky mammal pervert! Glad we saw it but don’t think I would pick it again given a choice!

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