A very large, all male group of lions walk down a road like they own it. And who’s going to argue with them?
Say that you are biking down a indescript blacktopped road when you round a bend and are suddenly confronted with the scene in this video: a large pack of male lions, shuffling towards you like some vast multi-limbed amoeba of fanged and clawed death.
What an incredible, inexplicable scene. It is both mesmerizing and startling.
Groups of predominantly female lions are called prides. Groups of all male lions are called coalitions. Wildlife and lion photographer Grant Atkinson indicates that male lion coalitions are a common occurrence, but usually consist of only around two males that form a partnership of sorts.
Adult male lions form these coalitions primarily for reasons of protection and power. As male lions age, they are often driven from a pride by younger, stronger males. They may then form bonds – coalitions – with other male lions. It appears to be a ‘strength in numbers’ sort of partnership.
Certain coalitions have been longstanding and well known in parts of Africa where they intimidate and hold sway over the other lions in the region. They are not unlike gangs of ne’er-do-wells in the human realm, who claim control over their own pieces of urban turf.
The Magopos coalition of male lions is one such example, and a notorious one at that. The Magopos coalition consists of primarily six male lions who live and rule in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve area of South Africa. Theirs is an incredible tale of violence and domination.
We were able to find no explanatory information on this incredible scene of at least 17 male lions walking together in the video. Whether they are an actual coalition or not is unsure. Everything about them at this point is unclear, as there is no explanatory text attached to the video. Neither was I able to uncover anything definitive in several online searches.
Many of the lions shown do look quite old, and several look rather battle scarred.
Whatever their story is, it is nevertheless a striking scene.