Bizarre lion behaviour in the Okavango Delta

We were on a game drive in the Okavango Delta when we heard lions fighting in the thickets. Upon investigation we came across four young male lions that had caught a young female lion from a nearby pride. The lioness was part of a small group of lions that had a kill too far into the other territory. They were surprised by the four males, the one lioness was caught whilst the rest fled. While the four had successfully subdued the female in what had been a vicious fight they began feeding on her while she was still alive. As the lioness took her last breaths, the four males were feeding on her as if it was a normal prey animal. More bizarre was when two lionesses from the four male lion’s pride joined them to feed and in a fairly short time cleaned up the carcass to only leave a few bones.

In 20 years of safari guiding, I have never come across such strange behavior of male lions towards a female and despite total submission, continued to kill her in an act of cannibalism partaken by all. This was more than a territorial dispute, it was totally abnormal lion behavior.

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Posted by Pat Dewil

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