Images of a romantic encounter between two male lions in Kenya’s Masai Mara has upset the country’s ‘moral police’ who has blamed gay men visiting the national park for ‘influencing’ the animals’ behaviour.
Dr Ezekiel Mutua, who is responsible for TV and film censorship in Kenya, has called for the two lions in question to be caught and kept in isolation until scientists can ‘determine how they acquired homosexual behaviour’.
Despite the fact that homosexuality among lions has been observed for decades, Dr Mutua is convinced that the lions would either have spotted gay men having sex in front of them, or been possessed by demons.
Gay pride: Two male lions were spotted engaging in sexual activity on the Masai Mara in Kenya, an incident which greatly upset one of the country’s self-proclaimed ‘moral policemen’ who blames gay men for ‘influencing’ the animals
‘These animals need counseling, because probably they have been influenced by gays who have gone to the national parks and behaved badly,’ Dr Mutua told Nairobi News.
Missing the mane point: Dr Ezekiel Mutua also said there was not enough evidence that the two lions were male.
Dr Mutua is chief executive of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), and in defense of his own work he told the paper that the animals could not have seen gay sex on film and therefore must have witnessed it in the Masai Mara.
‘They must have copied it from somewhere or it is demonic. Because these animals do not watch movies.’
He also demanded confirmation of the genders of the lions, saying ‘we should not jump to conclusions that the lions were both male’.
Gay and transgender people are severely discriminated against in Kenya, and any same-sex sexual activity is illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
The images which so upset Dr Mutua were taken by London-based photographer Paul Goldstein during a trip to the Masai Mara.
Mr Goldstein said he first observed the two lions standing side-by-side, before one lay down and was gently mounted by the other. At one point one lion’s head was resting on the other’s.
Mr Goldstein, a guide for Exodus Travels, says: ‘Sometimes you just see something that takes your breath away. I was guiding in the Masai Mara recently and we saw two impressive alpha males in perfect light.
‘After a while they stood together, in perfect symmetry. What then happened was remarkable.
‘I have heard of this happening in Botswana but with nothing like this vigour, and indeed at various zoos and safari parks, but incarcerated animals will do strange things, who can blame them.
In the jungle: The couple appear to have walked into some bushes to get some privacy.
Hakuna matata: One of the lions lie down under the bushes as the other climbs on top of it.
Damn, they’ve seen us: The happy couple then engaged in a love-making session that lasted for at least a minute, according to the photographer.
‘This however was astonishing. I normally loathe any sort of humanising with animals and our documentary channels are full of it, but this was not only surprising but it was impossible not to smile.
‘When lions mate it normally last a few seconds, these two were at it for over a minute and the obvious affection afterwards was very evident, as opposed to the violent withdrawal when male and female mate.
‘Even as he dismounted he did not back off as is normal after mating, he crept round to the other male’s muzzle, for a nuzzle and threw a conspiratorial wink his way.’
Happy hump-day! Homosexual activity is not unknown among lions, especially males, and scientists report that some eight per cent of all observed mountings in the wild are male on male.