She's The Boss - Mating Lions
Updated: Mar 8
Whilst on a wildlife safari game drive in Luangwa National Park Zambia, we observed a rate sighting of mating lions. We managed to capture this extraordinary occurrence on video so that we could share this once in a lifetime experience with you!
Did you know?
Female lions will start mating when they are 2 years old. Male lions will start mating when they are 3-4 years old, although it is unlikely that they will pass the prime of 6-7 years before dying.
Male lions will guard their females against other males who try to get their female away from him or into submission while mating. The larger, more powerful male and dominant one is the one that will be chosen by the female since he is the one that will provide for her and their future cubs.
It is very unlikely that a male lion who is not in his prime years will get to mate with any female lions. The number of females that can be mated by one male lion depends on the size of the territory that they control. A lion will have a territory that measures anywhere from 50 square kilometres to 200 square kilometres, equivalent to 15-50 miles in length.
When it comes time for mating, the male lion will often roar very loudly to let other lions know his intentions.
During this time, a pair mates every 20–30 minutes, with up to 50 copulations per 24 hours. The female will not be in heat for longer than a week, which is why the male must mate with her right away. When she does go into heat, however, males from all around will know and compete for the chance to reproduce with her.
The gestation period can last anywhere from 110 to 180 days. When a female is pregnant, she will hunt and bring food back for the male as well. This is because, during this time, he must protect both her and their cubs from other lions who would like nothing better than to make an easy meal out of them.
Once they give birth, the female will often go off on her own to protect her cubs from being killed by other animals, including the male lion she mated with. They have no time to mate again until their cubs are over 2 years old, at which time they will be driven off by the male as he wants to mate with other females and produce more offspring.
So, while the males may get all the mating benefits, this is not true. Females can and do enjoy many of them as well.
Would you like to experience a safari in Zambia and view lions in their natural habitat?
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