Siena finds a new man

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Posted by Sara Blackburn at 3:18 PM

When female lions come into season, they tend to attract any males that may be around the area. This works to the female’s advantage, as a number of males may believe that they are the father of the cubs. Infanticide is common in lions, often carried out by new males if they overtake a pride male or discover cubs sired by other males. By mating with both the pride male and any outsiders, the female is ultimately protecting her cubs.
So why does the pride male allow his mate to partner with other lions? By mating with a female as often as every 20 minutes over a period of two or three days, the pride male does his best to ensure that she conceives whilst in his presence. As the male is confident that he is the father, further attempts by other males are of little concern to him. This is mostly true, and so the female is able to increase her own chances of rearing her offspring to adulthood. Males may be so assured to the extent that they will even tolerate other males mating in his presence.

jonah walk Romeo follows Siena closely

So whilst Siena may have mated with Caesar for several days, she still advertised her position to other males. Romeo (star of BBC’s Big Cat Diary) was quickly on the scene as Siena made her way towards Leopard Gorge and nearer to the Masai Mara Reserve. Romeo is easy to identify, as he has a large notch out of his right ear, a scar on his top right lip and a small tail tuft.

Jonah Romeo has a large ear notch, just visible here, and a scar on his top lip.

Having a fine male at her side didn’t stop her from attempting to grab a meal, and in true Siena style, she began stalking some nearby zebra, until an eager Romeo blew her cover. She obviously wasn’t pleased, and a short while later, Siena was seen sunbathing on her own.

siena stalking Siena spots a zebra – she’s quite the hunter!

Romeo is one of the resident males of the Marsh Pride, and so he may have made his way back to Musiara. I’ve written the date of their pairing in my journal, and so three months from now I’ll be keeping a lookout for some little ones!
In other news, Marley, Kioni and the kids were spotted lounging around Mulima Maui (close to Maternity) with full bellies after tucking into a zebra. These lions certainly have a large range, as only the day before they were spotted close to No Camping. I’ll be making my way there later, hopefully to find some more lions.