Photograph by Claudette Gravel

Two lions mate in Maasai Mara National Reserve in this photo taken in February of 2012. Maasai Mara is famous for its big cats and wild game animals as well as for the Great Migration which occurs each year. The Great Migration is the largest mass movement of land animals in the world, during which millions of Wildebeest, Thomson’s Gazelle, Zebra, and Eland migrate from the southern Serengeti to the northern reaches of Maasai Mara National Reserve in a 500km round trip.

Female lions are polyestrous, meaning that they can go into heat several times each year. While in heat, the lioness will often mate with multiple males and during a mating bout which can extend for several days, a pair can mate twenty to forty times each day. 110 days is the average gestation period, after which the female will give birth to a litter of one to four cubs in a well hidden den, typically away from the rest of the pride.

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