Photographer Captures Adorable Lion Couple Cuddling

August 7, 2021 at 1:28 pm

Lion and lioness appear to be spooning “like humans”

A zoo-worker in Portugal captured this super cute lion couple cuddling in a rare and human-like position at Lisbon zoo.

Although cuddling is common among lions, “spooning” is not.

Typically they lie side by side, rubbing heads, nuzzling necks and licking each other to show affection.

A recent study found that snuggling is a particularly important tool for lions to strengthen social bonds.

Rubbing heads and frequent bodily contact imbues the pride members with each other’s bacterial communities and odor so they can recognize each other.

Males were more likely to rub heads with each other, creating a bond or alliance against potential takeover of their pride by other males. Females were more likely to lick each other, a maternal instinct, and a way to stay connected to other females in case a new group of males takes over.

Lions in zoos spend even more time cuddling, as they don’t have to spend time hunting for food or defending against takeovers of the pride by other male lions. The two above seem to have become experts at it!