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These protective lionesses refuse to take it LION down when a male approaches their cubs, and all hell breaks loose among the pride. The cat fight is a bitter battle between the male and female beasts, who savagely erupt into a ferocious battle in the Mara Triangle, within the heart of the Masai Mara in Kenya, Africa. Wildlife photographer Sarah Skinner witnessed the brawl, and her pictures show the fierce nature of these wild animals who lock their jaws around each other's throats. Sarah said: "One of the males went to greet a cub that had wondered a few feet from one of the mothers. "The females started fighting with the males in order to ward the male from the cub. "At this point the other females and males nearby heard the commotion. There were a tense few seconds as a huge fight ensued as more members of the pride joined in." The Masai Mara National Reserve is a large game reserve in south-western Kenya, named after the Masai people the traditional tribe of the area. It is famous for its lions, leopards and cheetahs, game, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson's gazelle, and wildebeest to and from the neighbouring Serengeti in Tanzania every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration. Its 1,500sq km are home to 500 lions in over 20 prides. The fight broke out soon after a number of cubs had been killed by lions in the same coalition, so the lioness' were on guard for potential threats to their young. The females were extremely tense due to their maternal instinct to protect their young cubs, and the males reacted by joining force. Sarah, who has spent years studying the lethal creatures, said: "When you have a large male coalition there is a lot of testosterone kicking about. "Combine that with fiercely protective mothers and this creates a lot of tension in a pride - even a small instance or misread behavour can provoke a fight. "When lions start fighting they can also sometimes appear to get a little confused and will start fighting each other in the heat of the moment."


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