Lions are very territorial and competitive animals. Even in captivity, they can get into brawls and fights over space, food, and mates. That is one reason that many zoos and rescue parks keep lions separated, especially males.

In the wild, lions form prides with just a few male lions and multiple female lions. Young cubs are also part of the pride, although as they grow, male lion cubs typically leave to form their own pride or take over another male’s pride. Even within the pride, there are specific roles for each lion, and shows of dominance between males are fairly common.

male lion stalking prey
Prides of lions in the wild typically include just a few males, with females outnumbering them.

©Jason Prince/Shutterstock.com

This video captures multiple lions engaging in a fight. There are at least four males, identified by the mane around their neck. One of the males is clearly younger than the others, with a less pronounced mane. He is still a large size and would probably be venturing out on his own if he were in the wild. It’s no surprise that these male lions are getting a bit touchy about their territory and position in the tribe.

There are also two female lions nearby. While they may not fight and be as aggressive toward each other as the male lions, female lions can still hold their own. They are generally the hunters within the pride and will be very protective of their young. These two female lions nip at the males when their fighting gets too close.

People visiting the park are nearby and only separated from the lions’ enclosure with a fence. We hope that they took care to give the lions their space, before and after the display of aggression began. Not only is it dangerous to be too close to lions when they are brawling, it can also make their aggression even more pronounced if they feel threatened. This is a large group of lions in one place together. After seeing the results of too many male lions in one area, we hope that the park staff was able to separate them into multiple prides and give them the space that they need.

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