Two male lions were caught in a steamy, yet romantic same-sex act during a tour in Kenya’s Masai Mara.
Paul Goldstein is originally from London but is now a guide for Exodus Travels. He told the Daily Mail: ‘Sometimes you just see something that takes your breath away.
‘I was guiding in the Masai Mara recently and we saw two impressive alpha males in perfect light.
‘After a while they stood together, in perfect symmetry. What then happened was remarkable.
‘I have heard of this happening in Botswana but with nothing like this vigour, and indeed at various zoos and safari parks, but incarcerated animals will do strange things, who can blame them,’ he explains.
He continued: ‘This however was astonishing.
‘I normally loathe any sort of humanizing with animals and our documentary channels are full of it, but this was not only surprising but it was impossible not to smile.
‘When lions mate it normally last[s] a few seconds. These two were at it for over a minute and the obvious affection afterwards was very evident, as opposed to the violent withdrawal when male and female mate.
‘Even as he dismounted, he did not back off as is normal after mating. He crept round to the other male’s muzzle, for a nuzzle and threw a conspiratorial wink his way,’ he said.
‘Male lions slide the length of their bodies along their partners’
Homosexuality in lions is uncommon but not completely undocumented. About 8% of mountings occur between male lions.
There are even cases of lionesses rubbing against each other.
Bruce Bagemihl wrote in his book titled Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity: ‘Male lions head-rub and roll around with each other before having sex together.’
He continues: ‘Male lions… slide the length of their bodies along their partners.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for some lions to be in exclusively monogamous. Bagemihl wrote: ‘Partners may even actively defend their pair-bond against the intrusion of outside individuals.’
See the photos of the lions in the original Daily Mail article.