Zoo’s flirty females ignore Leap Year traditions
Wednesday 29 February 2012
Females in the animal kingdom wear the trousers in the bedroom
Animals at ZSL London Zoo shun today’s Leap Year traditions, with flirty females taking the lead in love all year round.
From a monkey with a “sex face” to a lion who likes to tease the mane attraction, every day is Leap Day at the Zoo.
Human tradition may dictate that females can ask for a gentleman’s hand in marriage on Feb 29 of a Leap Year only, but in the animal kingdom there’s little patience for a four year occurrence when it comes to attracting the opposite sex.
In the domain of the African hunting dogs, the females always take on the alpha role – deciding not only when it’s time to mate, but also having the pick of the males in her pack.
Chief female at the Zoo, Bandy, is spoiled for choice with two strapping lads at her beck and call, and she creates quite a stir as they each vie for her attentions.
And although the males may rule the roost in the world of big cats, it’s the ladies who make the first move in the bedroom.
ZSL London Zoo’s lioness Abi and tigress Raika like to show off their feminine sides to their mates when they come into season.
Whilst Raika the Sumatran tiger opts for the subtle approach of a few flirty glances in male Lumpur’s direction, Asian lioness Abi prefers playful teasing of her mate Lucifer, who always falls for her affectionate advances.
Lucifer and Abi, ZSL London Zoo's Asian lions
Meanwhile there’s nothing understated about the primates flirting tactics with the females using, what can only be described as, the direct approach.
Male macaque Gaston just can’t resist when his girlfriend brazenly shakes her bright red bottom in his direction, and white-naped mangabey monkey Bella uses a rather unique ‘pulling’ technique - she entices male Lucky with a specific facial expression which her keepers endearingly call her ‘sex face’.
Zookeeper Teague Stubbington explains: “The females in the animal kingdom couldn’t care less about the Leap Year – they’re at it all year round.
“It’s important to recognise these behaviours so we know the animals are happy together and can encourage the success of the Zoo’s breeding programmes for endangered species.”