Lions are social animals and live in groups. These consist mainly of female lions and their offspring, but there are also a few male lions. It is the female who raises the young and searches for prey. Meanwhile, males are responsible for patrolling and protecting their territories. So what happens when they spot a threat to the territory? In this video, we’ll find out.
turf war between lions
At about three years old, young male lions leave their pride and try to find a pride of their own. This involves taking over another male’s pride, which unsurprisingly leads to a lot of conflict. Only one in eight male lions survives to adulthood and reproduces to produce their own cubs. You may also see males banding together to control territories (up to thousands of acres), and they can kill hundreds of rival males and young to maintain dominance.
At the beginning of this long shot shot in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, we see two young male lions named Maridadi and Kaka wrestle with an older and more experienced male named Ololparpit. Their goal is to take over his territory and his pride.
The battle to survive and reproduce
This is a constant battle. We start with the motion of the lion running around and we can hear a lot of growling and roaring. Through the flying dust, we can see three lions biting each other and wrestling on the floor. Sometimes two people fight while a third looks on, but sometimes all three fight at the same time. There are times when all three seem to need a breather, standing panting and looking at each other.
It’s sad to see that Ololparpit appears to be injured (through the top of his hind leg) and in a lot of pain. But he still bravely defended himself when two other lions attacked again.
There was another long, tense pause as the lions recovered and moved around.
By the end of the shot, we’re very concerned for Ololparpit’s safety as he appears to be curled up on the ground in pain. We learn from the video that he was calling out for his partner after the fight. We also learn that if he loses the fight, Maridadi and Kaka may kill the lion cubs in the pride to spur the females to want to mate with them and thus produce their own cubs. Nature is cruelest!
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I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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