SPONSORED CONTENT written by Tarry Myers, EcoTraining
WARNING: Images may be disturbing to some readers
The students at our EcoTraining Pridelands Camp in the Greater Kruger National Park recently witnessed a severe yet interesting occurrence. Early in the morning the sounds of lions fighting echoed across the region. During the morning game drive, the instructors and students were informed of the presence of two large male lions and a lioness in an area not far from the camp.
Upon arriving at the sighting, they were surprised to see that the lioness was in fact dead! The bite marks around her throat, back of the neck and lower spine indicated that she had indeed been killed by the two male lions who were lying close by to her body.
These male lions seemed to be new to the region, and we believe they may have come from somewhere in the Greater Kruger National Park. The blood on the chin and paws of one of the male lions as well as a laceration at his elbow and two small cuts on his face suggests that he was responsible for killing the lioness.
It has been witnessed in the past that when dominate male lions expand their territory and take over another pride of lionesses and their cubs they will immediately try to kill any cubs that are approximately under a year old. Occasionally lionesses will try to defend the cubs which results in the male lions driving home the attack and injuring (or in extreme cases killing) the lioness. We believe, from the evidence gathered, that this is what most likely happened at this particular sighting.
Even more interesting is that the lions spent some time feeding on the carcass. Lions have, on rare occasions, been known to cannibalise each other – though this is less common and not often witnessed.
This very rare sighting witnessed by the EcoTraining students paints a picture of the harsh reality of lions and their somewhat cruel yet natural territorial behaviour.