Teasing hormones

14 03 2012

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.




5 responses

14 03 2012

Hi do you have any opportunities for vet students? Some job to do?

14 03 2012

Please see our web site for intern opportunities. http://www.lionalert.org

21 03 2012

Hi! I have been reading the blog, and I am wondering whether Kwali, Nala and Narnia are also on birth control? There is never any speculation about whether they are pregnant, nor a mention of them breeding with Milo. Is it because they are too young? Or do the male lions customarily ignore the lionesses that are in lower ranks?

21 03 2012

Nala, Narnia and Kwali were all spayed prior to release and therefore cannot breed. Nala and Narnia were given sanctuary by Antelope Park when they were young as their previous owner was no longer able to look after them – however they are inbred and therefore it would not be adviable to breed with them. Kwali suffers from horner’s syndrome and so was also spayed. However, all three proved to be some of the best hunters ever to come through stage one of the release program, and so have more than earnt their right to be in the pride.

22 03 2012

thanks for the reply!

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