During the late 90’s deep in the Okavango delta region of Botswana, investigators discovered a small pride of lions which they named the Western Pride.
Before we go further , you need to know some facts about lion social behavior. The basic social structure of lions is the Pride: a group of several females and their cubs, all protected by an alpha male and sometimes a few lesser males. Although the females actually do most of the hunting for the group; they all depend on the protection provided by the larger and more powerful males. The more males the pride has, the larger territory they can defend. Lions do have enemies; hippos, rhinos, jackals, hyenas, and even other prides of lions.
What scientists found in the Western pride was a special lioness with a large dark and full mane, and moves almost identically to a mature male lion. They named her Martina; although she has passed on, she has been replaced by another such special lioness known as Mmamoriri, who has been observed to exhibit strong male behavior; including attempting to mount other females. During a battle with another pride, over a buffalo carcass, she was seen to hold off ten other lionesses for four hours, until two large males arrived, attacked her as a male, forcing her retreat.
Since then there has been great speculation as to the cause of this phenomenon, but the effects of this aberration are quite easy to understand. More males enable the pride to be more resistant to attack, defend a larger territory, and improve their chance of survival.
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