Photos of male lions getting intimate shocks Kenya’s so-called ‘moral policeman’ Dr Ezekiel Mutua
The lions were spotted mounting and cuddling each other afterwards in the Masai Mara
Dr Mutua believes the lions were ‘influenced’ by gay visitors to the park ‘behaving badly’
He also claimed that the lions could have been ‘possessed by demons’ or that one may not have been male
Homosexual lions are rare, but far from unheard of, and more common in males
By Sara Malm
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.
In his quest to find a alternative explanation for what is a well-documented natural occurrence, Dr Mutua also called for an investigation into whether the two lions – despite their grand manes – were really male.
‘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.
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.
‘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.