Ginger the lion is a favourite amongst the many big cat lovers who visit South Luangwa in Zambia. His fiery temperament and unusual colouring make him easy to spot. He is the dominant male of a mega pride in the Mfuwe area that grew to 27 members at one point.
Being the top lion in the region and responsible for protecting the pride’s territory means that he must always be ready to kick some ass and deal with any intruders or young pretenders who might challenge his dominance.
This young male seems desperate to make a point with Ginger, but the boss is too cool to take the bait. The moment was filmed by Peter Geraerdts of Track and Trail River Camp who said that the stand-off eventually fizzled out after a couple of hours and both boys drifted off. But there was no doubt that Ginger still rules in South Luangwa.
Ginger has a close bond with his brother Garlic and together they form quite a team. Here they put the word out in the neighbourhood, letting the bush know who is boss as only lions can. Geraerdts says their roars can often be heard up to 8 kms away.
The lionesses of the pride, being the better hunters, usually take charge of putting food on the table. Even though most of their prey is faster than they are, with efficient cooperation, a group of female lions or even just a pair, will often bring down a targeted creature.
Ruling the pride automatically qualifies Ginger for mating rights and the past few weeks we have witnessed Ginger regularly claiming his rights.
As both parents would need to carry a mutation of the gene that controls pigmentation to produce ginger cubs, it is highly unlikely that his offspring will be Ginger’s too. The fact is that gingers are very rare, one of the reasons why this guy is such a favourite!