Male’s of any species like to assert their dominance at the dinner table. This is particularly true of male lions in the wild, who will assert great authority over the rest of the pride when it comes to their position at a kill.
Males are high up the pecking order within the pride structure and won’t tolerate anyone who challenges what is of utmost importance to their own genetic survival. Especially when it comes to food, lions are generally extremely competitive and will fight vigorously for their place at the carcass.
The lionesses who predominantly make the kills, will often tolerate the males taking the carcass for themselves. This is for their own protection. For the simple reason of the male being much larger, and the males need their strength to serve as pride protector against hyenas and other nomadic male lions looking to pitch up their tents in his territory. This is of vital importance because foreign males that move into the territory will kill cubs that are younger than a year old. This is known as infanticide.
Male lions will eat their fill before allowing others to feed, and for lions to survive in tough conditions, they need to eat well! But this can come at a price, because sometimes individuals of the pride can be killed when feeding on a carcass especially when a dominant male decides to take on a youngster that tries its luck.
It’s a very noisy affair when there is more than one lion at a kill and the aggression will intensify when the prey is small and meat is scarce, like an impala or warthog. Meat is energy – the more there is, the healthier the individual and the better its chances are at survival!
Because of our flourishing lion population, guests that visit Tintswalo Safari Lodge have the opportunity to witness this interaction fairly often! Throughout the last year there have been some great lion sightings and fierce interactions at kills!
In these images you will see dominant males such as one of our Selati males, who defends a sizeable territory in the south of the Manyeleti Game Reserve, will actually allow the small cubs to feed with him which is not always the case.
One of the Thanda Impi male lions would lay comfortably with his head on the carcass so that the vultures dont nip away at the carcass. And if a vulture becomes too bold, he too will fall victim to the jaws of these powerful predators.
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