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Young Prince | Lion

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Species: Lion (Panthera leo)

Location: Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Young male lions leave their natal pride at around the age of three years and enter a phase of nomadic movements. This is usually a period of a couple of years where they are still not strong enough to secure a territoy and pride of their own and so roam rather aimlessly through the wilderness by themselves, usually as coalitions of two to four brothers.

This is an extremely challenging time in a male lion's life and most do not make it out alive. They must constantly keep a low profile and avoid the dominant territorial males, who would not hesitate to kill them given a chance. Many die a violent death in conflicts with other males.

Once they gather the necessary size and strength, they will challenge the dominant males for their territory and lionesses. At this point they have been through hell and back and are extremely capable beasts oozing with confidence. It is only then that they are worthy of the title 'King'.

This photo is of a young male lion who was still in his nomadic phase.