Talk About Family Drama! Footage Shows Brother Lions Brawling Over Females
Male lions will fight to the death for the opportunity to control a territory inhabited by female lions.
These lions show just how tough brotherly love can be.
Heart-stopping footage, released in honor of World Lion Day, shows five brother lions brawling in Africa's Kalahari Desert as each tries to prove they're the Alpha male.
Ultimately, three males are defeated in the encounter. They are forced to leave their pride in search of different territory to conquer, and two are left to fend for the females.
Animal Planet's animal expert Dave Salmoni told InsideEdition.com that while one Alpha lion often leads the pride, a group of brothers or cousins can form a coalition and take over a territory together.
But the clip from "Clash of Africa's Giants," an Animal Planet special, shows what can happen when tensions arise during mating season.
"Males will fight amongst each other in a coalition," he explained, adding that their brawls intensify as they fight over who gets to breed.
According to Salmoni, the core of a pride is made up of females. A group may choose to raise their cubs together, with either one Alpha male as their leader or a coalition of males.
While some male lions may help the females hunt large animals, such as buffalo or elephants, their main role is to fend off other male lions that may try to take over the territory.
"A male lion's role is to protect their pride," Salmoni said.
Cubs as young as 3 years old may be deemed too old to remain in the pride and are then ousted in search of their own pride.
But lions older than 6 may have a hard time finding a pride to join, Salmoni said. Lions are not usually welcome into a territory unless he can win over the pride in a battle to the death, and lions older than 6 may not be healthy enough to win, he explained.
While lions can be aggressive toward one another, Salmoni explained the real threat to the species is human activity, including poaching, hunting, growing population and different land use.
"The species is going fastest into extinction than any other," he said. "It wasn't too long ago that lions were doing well."
In honor of World Lion Day on August 10, Animal Planet is featuring lions all day long, including the new special, "Clash of Africa's Giants," which airs at 9/8 central.
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