Gay lions show their pride in front of stunned audience
Two male lions have stunned a photographer by having sex in front of him – with more affectionate than straight lions.
The two predators participated in some extended lovemaking before engaging each other with tenderness, rather than a more typical display of aggression.
Earlier this year, two male lions shocked visitors to the UK’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park by engaging in a mating display as a lioness looked on from just a few feet away.
And it just shows that even though the idea that The Lion King’s Simba could be gay is just a pipe dream which annoys homophobes, at least some of these beautiful animals are out there representing.
Dear Australia, these lions having sex are saying yes to gay pride https://t.co/MLE3Ww9YXo
— Metro (@MetroUK) November 1, 2017
The lions, who live in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, strolled off to the bushes to have sex.
Intercourse between straight lions can end violently, particularly if the male lion is interrupted by another male.
But this pair were more affectionate, nuzzling each other after the encounter.
Paul Goldstein, a photographer from London, captured the scene as one lion gently mounted the other, which he said took his breath away.
“I was guiding in the Maasai Mara recently and we saw two impressive alpha males in perfect light,” he told the Mail Online.
“After a while they stood together, in perfect symmetry. What then happened was remarkable,” he recalled.
Goldstein called the mating display “astonishing,” adding: “I normally loathe any sort of humanising with animals, and our documentary channels are full of it”.
But he said, “this was not only surprising but it was impossible not to smile.
“When lions mate, it normally last a few seconds,” Goldstein said.
“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.”
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It is of course not abnormal for many animals – hundreds, in fact – to engage in homosexual activities or partnerships.
Dogs, for instance, certainly have gay sex.
Earlier this year, a polar bear called Szenja died just weeks after her same-sex partner of 20 years was transferred to a different zoo.
The bear, who was left alone at SeaWorld San Diego after her companion Snowflake was moved to Pittsburgh Zoo, died of a broken heart, animals rights charity Peta claimed.