Since fitting Phyre with her contraceptive implant on the 7th we’ve started to observe her more flirtatious side returning. On both the 11th and 12th Phyre has been noted displaying typical signs of a female in estrous; flickering of the tail, arching of the spine, erratic social displays to males. We all agree that Phyre is a rather good-looking lioness and, like any hot-blooded male, Milo has found these seductive encounters difficult to ignore. Sadly though it seems Phyre is merely dealing with a temporary hormonal imbalance rather than an estrous cycle and therefore Milo’s advances have been met only with sharp teeth and claws.
Our sympathies went out to Milo as he approached Phyre and her wiggling rump only to receive a large smack around the chops.
The rest of the females looked on, as Milo sat down with a large sigh of disappointment and with a splash of irritation no doubt. Ashanti, showing signs of a more conservative mother, shielded her cubs from Phyre’s provocative behaviour and engaged in some heart warming head rubs with her little girl, AS4.
Both these stunning photographs have been taken by two of our current photographic volunteers, Steve Pugh and Mike Darkin, from the UK. The role of this volunteer program is to join the research team in our Ngamo site and assist in recording the life of the pride to assist with understanding their behaviours and development. If you are interested in joining this program please visit our volunteer page, scroll down to the Antelope Park section and click on the wildlife photography option.