We recently witnessed a rather unusual brawl between members of the resident pride at Gomoti, a Wilderness Safaris Explorations Camp in Botswana. What started as a tranquil sighting of females and their young turned into a brawl when the dominant male showed up. He had always been welcome but on this occasion, it was clear he was not going to get a hug and a kiss after a long disappearance.
As soon as the females caught sight of his mane coming through the brush it was tooth and nail. We watched as the females charged at him and bowled him over with slaps. The vocalisations added to the intensity of the raw atmosphere. He eventually got up and ran for his life and the females were definitely happy with the punishment they dished out. One of the females even ended up with some lacerations on her ear. It was an incredible experience to witness, especially as it took place very close to our vehicle. Did he have some lipstick on his collar, maybe?
Words and images by Ona Basimane