Nicole CambrÃ© photographs two male lions mating in Botswana safari park | Daily Mail Online
It must be a gay pride! Two male lions are spotted 'mating' in Botswana safari park after ignoring pregnant lioness
- Photographer spotted the two male lions apparently trying to mate in the Lagoon area of Kwando in Botswana
- A guide told Belgian lawyer Nicole Cambré that the lions had been displaying this behaviour for the last week
- She said pair had pushed out the resident males earlier in the year and that they showed no interest in the lioness
By Julian Robinson and Kate Samuelson For Mailonline
Published: 05:30 EST, 14 April 2016 | Updated: 02:33 EST, 15 April 2016
This is the moment two male lions in an African safari park were captured on camera - apparently trying to mate.
The two adult lions were photographed becoming more than affectionate in the Lagoon area of the Kwando Concession in Botswana, southern Africa.
Lawyer Nicole Cambré, who took the pictures during a safari trip, said she saw the two male lions 'mating' and was told by her guide that this behaviour had been evident for a week.
+7 Gay pride: A series of pictures captured the moment two male lions in an African safari park apparently trying to mate
+7 The two adult lions were photographed becoming more than affectionate in the Lagoon area of the Kwando Concession in Botswana, southern Africa
+7 Belgian lawyer Nicole Cambré, who took the pictures during a safari trip, said she saw the two male lions 'mating'
She said: 'These males had pushed out the resident males earlier in the year and the other female lions had headed into the Mopani woodlands; an area difficult to access with a safari vehicle.
- Serial escapee Sylvester gets his reward: Adventurous lion...
'I have to stop you two big beasts butting heads!' Susanna...
Can you spot the cheetah preparing to pounce? African...
'Only one lioness was seen in the centre of the concession where the male lions were and the lions showed no interest in the lioness leading to the assumption that she may have been pregnant.
'It is the first time I have seen homosexual behaviour in lions, but when reading about it upon my return, it is not that uncommon. With the light just around sunset, it gave some spectacular images.
+7 The photographer said it was the first time she had 'seen homosexual behaviour in lions' but that she later read that it was 'not that uncommon'
+7 Two's company: The pair had pushed out the resident males earlier in the year and had reportedly shown no interest in the lioness
+7 Biologists have recorded same-sex sexual activity in more than 450 species including flamingos, bison, beetles and warthogs
'One of the lions was wearing a collar and our guide thought that they may have crossed from Namibia.'
Nicole Cambré is a lawyer from Brussels, Belgium with a passion for photography. One of her images won the nature category of the 2014 National Geographic photo contest.
While a male lion mounting another male lion may not be conclusive evidence of homosexuality, biologists have recorded same-sex sexual activity in more than 450 species including flamingos, bison, beetles and warthogs.
A 2010 study of Alaskan Albatrosses found that a third of the pairs actually consisted of two females.
Read more:HOMOSEXUALITY AMONG ANIMALS: CAN ANIMALS BE GAY?
+7 According to research, about a fifth of captive king penguins are gay
According to Darwin, the sexual impulses of animals are designed to cause reproduction, and are therefore necessarily heterosexual.
But recent research suggests that homosexual animals – often dismissed by biologists as the exceptions that prove the rule – may be more common than previously thought.
Some biologists claim 'gay' animal behaviour has been spotted in 1,500 different species, and reliably recorded in a third of these cases - roughly 450 species.
Animals that have displayed homosexual behavior include emus, chickens, koalas, salmon, cats, owls and dolphins.
According to research, about a fifth of captive king penguins are gay and it is common for male black swans to raise cygnets as a couple – possibly to provide better protection.
Zoologist Petter Bockman, an expert on the subject at the University of Oslo, dismisses those who draw political implications from the scientific findings.
He says: 'If you ask: "Can animals be gay?" The short answer is: "Yes." "Gay" is a human word, however, so we prefer to use the word "homosexual" for animals.
'Sexuality is not just about making babies, it is also about making the flock work. For some animals, homosexuality is normal flock behaviour.'
He says the issue has long been taboo for researchers who are 'fearful of being ridiculed by their colleagues'.
Farmers often come across bulls and rams that simply refuse to mate with females, he claims, and, in 2004, Charles Roselli at the Ohio Health and Science University reported that about eight per cent of domestic rams prefer other males.
Bockman curated an exhibition Against Nature's Order for the Norwegian Natural History Museum. One Pentecostal minister told him he would 'burn in hell' for his work.
Another said the money would be better spent 'curing gay animals'.
Why do animals indulge in homosexuality?
There are many reasons. In tribal animals, homosexuality sometimes takes on a social role - occupying unwanted males or bonding male members of the pack.
In other species, the reasons are less clear.
'Birds are really complicated,' says Bockman. 'What goes on in birds' brains is anyone's guess.'
Male black swans will often bring up cygnets together - involving females only in the initial breeding process. This could be because males are better able to protect the young.
Sources: The Telegraph and The Daily Mail
- Can animals be gay? - Telegraph
- Lesbian albatrosses, gay giraffes and some very open-minded penguins. So, can animals really be gay? | Daily Mail Online
Read more: Nicole CambrÃ© photographs two male lions mating in Botswana safari park | Daily Mail Online
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook