Mother Kind

sq Scan-140726-0006 (9)

After a couple of weeks’ safari-ing down the ancestral line, it’s back to the old Africa album today.

Lions are the only truly social members of the cat family. Even so, pride living can be fraught with dangers. Mothers may be very protective of their cubs and charge any human who walks into their territory, but humans are not the main threat. Whenever a band of young males ousts a pride’s more elderly males, they usually kill any young cubs. The selfish gene is in action here, to say nothing of the biological imperative to reproduce. Without their cubs, the females quickly come into oestrus so the newcomers may sire cubs of their own, offspring in whom they are prepared to invest their protective and hunting capacities.

Unlike male lions, female lions tend to live out their lives in the pride they were born into, along with several female relatives. As soon as their male cubs reach two or three years old they are expelled from the pride to pursue a nomadic existence until they can take over another pride of unrelated lions.

The pride thus comprises kindred males unrelated to kindred females and they are highly territorial. Males scent mark, rubbing their manes on bushes and spraying them with urine and anal gland secretions. All pride members scratch trees depositing scent from glands between their toes. Male lions also choose locations where their roars may be amplified, against riverbanks for instance, making them sound larger and fiercer. There is nothing quite like a night-time roar for chilling the blood.

Hunting usually takes place at night, but also at dusk and dawn. The rest of the day, for up to 20 hours, they simply rest. Marshy areas with plenty of shade are popular lion resorts. They have astonishing capacities to ‘disappear’ themselves .

Scan-140731-0033

 

KindaSquare #19

28 thoughts on “Mother Kind

  1. I came roaring through on seeing the email alert for this post, and yet, your blog still said I am not following. It’s true, I’m not lion. (I clicked follow, of course … again! )
    If you don’t love me anymore just say. I can take a hint.

    😉

      1. The rotters. There are far too many cancel-entities being active across the ether just now. Anyway have now regained contact from my end, as it were.

  2. Oh yes, Tish. I have returned from Zambia and am in quarantine for two weeks. We had a maneater in Mfuwe, attacked a girl and killed a cyclist last month. Total of six fatalities. The paramount chief went on the radio to appeal for help.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.