African Honeymoon lions:
A video taken on the 14th of April 2016 of lions mating. Lions mate frequently when a lioness is in estrous, as much as every 20 minutes extended over a period of 4 to 5 days. The males from coalitions, with the biggest coalition that I am aware of totaling 7, which was quite a few years ago in a private reserve not too far away from us. So why would lions form coalitions as this would seem to diminish their chances of getting mating opportunities?
The more male lions in a coalition, the stronger the partnership and the longer the reign should be. There definitely seems to be a hierarchy, but these males would often separate and spend a fair amount of time apart while patrolling their territory or lazing around. Chances are good that they might meet up with lionesses in estrous during these periods of separation offering mating opportunities for each and every member of the coalition over a period of time. A big and strong coalition would also be able to expand their territory by force and intimidation and this means more lionesses and most importantly more mating opportunities for all. Thus a win/win situation for every lion forming part of the coalition.
The Mohlabetsi male coalition of 4 males have now taken control of 3 prides: Mohlabetsi pride, River pride (13 lions with Noengu Mafazi the leader) and Impalabos pride (used to be called Pride of 6). The undisputed leader of the Mohlabetsi coalition is a big male called the Mohlabetsi male. In this video a younger male who is also his 2nd in command is seen mating with a lioness of the River pride. She can be identified by the small piece of skin that is missing from her left ear. Not sure if it is that easy to see in this video. She is a temperamental lioness that does not seem to have a lot of affinity for our safari cruisers and always seems to be trying to lead the rest of the group away from us when we approach. Amazing when you spend so much time with lions as we do how one get to know the their different personalities.