Lion fight at a kill

A recent video of a lion fight at a buffalo kill during a wildlife safari at Pondoro Game Lodge. The frequency and severity of the fighting around the carcass increased, as always, as the meat disappeared into their ever expanding bellies and only scraps remain. Small kills like warthogs and impala usually produce a lot of friction as lions compete for a scare commodity. The same happens when bigger kills are nearly finished.

The Mohlabetsi male coalition consists of 8 males and is dominated by the big Mohlabetsi male who is now in his prime at 8 years of age. He allowed the younger blond male, who can be seen feeding on the left in the videoclip, to stay when he took over the Mohlabetsi pride. His 6 sons, later on, also joined the 2 males on their nightly patrols. They were not chased off as is normally the rule. Their reign over our traversing area is by fear and intimidation. The male called Kudyela who was in charge of a pride to the west have disappeared and the 2 Singwe males have been pushed back, even further west.

The big Mohlabetsi male is the undisputed leader as can clearly be seen from the video. One might ask why the younger lions are staying with him as they have to be submissive and will be last in line when mating opportunities arise? It is extremely difficult for young males to survive in the wild as any territory will have to be taken by force and they would be smaller and weaker than most of the territorial males. The only way to survive is to get bigger quick and to outnumber their rivals. An opportunity to have a free ticket to a territory by sticking with a bigger male, who allows them to, is godsend. They are also seldom found all together, splitting often, which helps in getting mating opportunities when stumbling upon a lioness in estrus. Meanwhile they are all getting bigger and the roles will reversed at some time in the future.

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