A pride is a group of lions consisting of the alpha, his lionesses, his cubs, and possibly a couple of other male lions who recognize the superiority of the alpha. In this story though, pride takes on a whole different meaning when a couple of male lions appear to mate while the lioness looks on – with an understandably baffled look on her face.
Wildlife photographer Russ Bridges was able to take pictures of this happening at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster, England. He witnessed one of the male lions going over to the other and pinned him down to what appeared to be an attempt to mate.
He rides on his fellow male lion’s back in what looks like an attempt to hump.
The lioness doesn’t seem to understand what the heck was going on.
Of course, it shocked the park’s visitors and the cheeky lion on top stuck his tongue out and seemed to be teasing the spectators.
Putting on a show for the shocked visitors.
“There are two males and female in that pride. One of the lions suddenly got up, walked over and jumped on his friend’s back,” says Bridges.
“A fair few people were watching this going on and laughing – they were all commenting on what it looked like.”
“I think it was a bit of a ‘should have gone to Specsavers’ moment as the lioness was just lying there next to them.”
“In fairness though, every time a male went near her she snarled and swiped their faces with her paw.”
“It’s not really unusual for them to act that way sometimes. I don’t know if it’s a dominance thing or something like that – it looks as if they are aggressive, but it’s all play between friends.”
Bridges had photographed the lions before but this is the first time he did so in such a setting.
“Usually they lay asleep doing nothing when I go to photograph them, but this time they were up and about.”
“My favourite shot is the one where he appears to be sticking his tongue out.”
“I’ve never seen a shot of two males on top of one another with one sticking his tongue out before – it’s like he’s showing some pride in what he’s doing.”
“I absolutely adore animals, I can’t even bring myself to kill a fly or a spider, and love the conservation work that the park do.”
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