Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

An action wildlife photograph shows three African lionesses play fighting along a river. The large felines kick up lots of dust while playing. Two of the predators stand on their back legs to lean against each other.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 12 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D X and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Exposure time: 1/2000s
  • ISO: 3200
  • Focal Length: 278mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4552 by 3035 pixels (WxH).

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The African lionesses play fighting is a common thing we see amongst these sociable cats. There is a lot of dust. The large felines kick up lots of dirt with their game. Two of the predators stand on their back legs to lean against each other. On the left hand comes the third lioness running into the scene. In all three animals, you see their impressive muscles. The brilliant green grass contrasts the dusty ground in the background. Usually, prides consist of about 15 lions. However, most of them are lionesses and their young.

The pride they live in are close family groups. Lions will show lots of affection by play fighting, purring, licking, and rubbing against each other. The lionesses do most of the hunting. Even though the males will be the ones to eat first, they hunt in groups to have a higher success rate of catching their prey. You will often find lionesses play fighting as it is an essential part of their social behavior. All cats possess this characteristic. Interestingly, when a lion roars, it can be heard over a distance of 8 km / 5 miles. They are incredible animals, indeed.

The lion, Panthera Leo, is in the category vulnerable on the IUCN red list.

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