'Gender Fluid' Lioness Exhibits Male and Female Traits
The fiercely maned lioness in Botswana, Africa, is queen of her pride
Don’t be fooled: Mmamoriri may look, act and roar like a male, but the fiercely maned lioness in Botswana, Africa, is actually the queen of her pride. (Note: “Pride” is lion lingo for “squad.”)
The lioness exhibits several male traits, like a mane with black fur and a deep, low-register roar, that she developed after her pride leader died. Researchers suspect Mmamoriri developed these typically masculine traits in order to protect her pride against other lions.
When the “gender fluid” lioness was first discovered in 2012, researchers suspected she had an extra Y chromosome, but that was disproved after a blood test from the Zoological Society of London.
The public’s fascination with Mmamoriri has picked up traction after a BBC documentary, “The World’s Sneakiest Animals,” aired over the holiday weekend, featuring her unique story.
She is just one of five lions worldwide believed to identify as both male and female.