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All females within a pride are usually related, e.g. sisters, aunts, nieces etc. There is no rank hierarchy among females and no two are likely to be found together more than half the time. All female residents know one another and when they meet, the lion greeting ceremony (rubbing and low purring) reaffirms their social ties. If a female shows no self-assurance to meet and greet, this sends a signal that it doesn’t belong in the pride and is treated as an intruder. Females are mainly the hunters of the pride, while males only hunt when a big kill is involved or the females have not given him a free lunch. The females usually hunt in a group for there is a higher chance of the kill being successful. One theory these sociable cats hunt together is to control exclusive hunting grounds and to share food with relatives. The females like to hunt in a broad front in an attempt to drive the quarry into an ambush or block the escape route of their prey. When food is scarce, the females won’t share the food that they are able to obtain with their cubs, so high cub mortality rates are high during times of prey scarcity. This might seem cruel but it stems from dire necessity.

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