Double date: Gir lion mates with 2 females
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
Lion kings of Gir are enjoying the company of two queens at the same time. This highly unusual behaviour of the big cats has been revealed in a study conducted by a lion researcher, Meena Venkatraman.
Contrary to behaviour seen in Africa, where a lioness mates with two males if left unattended, here in Gir it is the opposite. Venkatraman recorded this mating behaviour after radio-collaring a male lion, 6-8 years of age, during her study: The lion was resting next to a lioness, about 5-7 years of age.
Another younger female, about 4-6 years of age, rested 5 metres away from the pair. As is typical with mating pairs, when the older female stood up and walked away, the male walked with her in a protective manner. The younger female too stood up but walked away in a different direction.
The pair mated in the afternoon. About 20 minutes later, the younger lioness also mated with the lion. Surprisingly, the older female did not show any aggression. Venkatraman found that this behaviour was rare. Since 1966-1969, only three incidents had been recorded in Africa.