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Lionesses With A Unique Relationship

In the animal kingdom, it is fairly common to see a dominance display of mounting by male animals, such as elephants and lions. We’ve also shared a video of 3 males doing the deed with 1 lioness. However, we have never seen the above behaviour between 2 lionesses!

22-year-old guide, Jason De Rauville captured a very rare instance where two lionesses try and mount at Phinda Game Reserve recently. We asked Jason to explain this unusual sighting and he told us what he saw:

“We were on our way out on an early morning game drive and came across some fresh lioness tracks. I was a tracker with one of the guides before becoming a guide myself. We followed the tracks for a while and noticed that a lioness had sort of “scent marked” against a tree so this stated that she must have been on heat. We followed the tracks further and met up with another guide who found two lionesses not far from where we were. We stopped at the sighting and watched them for a while.”

“I was very confused at first, I’ve seen dominance displayed by males toward each other similar to mating but never have I seen this behavior in females. We saw one lioness mount the other and decided to stay and see if it would happen again. I was so excited because I had never heard of or seen anything like this before. The wait paid off and she mounted again, this time I had my camera ready!”

“They acted like a mating pair of lions and then lay down again. We left after the second round of mounting when they began to settle down and rest. It was the first time ever that I had seen this and after speaking to a lot of people, I realized that this is very, very rare. One of the lionesses are relatively young, she is also the much smaller one between the two – I’m not sure if that is maybe one of the influencing factors in what happened here.”


“There has not been much research conducted into why lionesses would portray this kind of behavior, but it was amazing to see such unheard-of behavior in the bush.”

Some say that the reason this occurred was due to both lionesses being on heat and there were no males in their area.

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