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Desperate times call for desperate measures! Three-legged lion makes a record-breaking one-mile swim across a crocodile-infested river – after hearing females on the other side

Finding a partner can be problematic at the best of times.

But when you’re an amputee crossing a large stretch of water, it can literally be a matter of life and death.

Jacob, a three-legged African lion, has broken the record for the longest swim by a big cat in search of a mate, scientists say.

Together with his brother Tibu, Jacob traveled approximately 1 mile through the dangerous, crocodile-infested waters of Uganda’s Kazinga Channel.

The two brothers risked their lives in the desperate pursuit of a female to mate with after hearing her roaring calls from the other side.

Together with his brother Tibu, Jacob broke the record for the longest swim by a big cat in search of a mate, scientists say. In 2020, Jacob got stuck in a trap that severed his left hind leg

Three-legged Jacob and his brother Tibu crossed the Kazinga Channel in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park

Three-legged Jacob and his brother Tibu crossed the Kazinga Channel in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park

Scientists used heat-tracking drones to track the two African lions as they crossed the Kazinga Channel in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.

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“It was quite dramatic,” Dr. Alexander Braczkowski, a conservation biologist at Griffith University in Australia, told the New York Times.

“It looks like two little heat signatures crossing an ocean.”

In 2020, Jacob was caught in a poacher’s trap that severed his left hind leg, although he was fitted with a satellite collar that allowed rangers to locate him and save his life.

Four years later, Jacob has proven that he is strong enough to cross the Kazinga Channel, which is full of hippos and crocodiles up to 6 meters long.

Crocs can potentially kill lions with a fatal bite, especially in water where the cats are at risk of drowning.

Lions can swim, but they usually only do so when absolutely necessary: ​​in search of food or mates.

The brothers risked their lives in the desperate pursuit of a female to mate with after hearing their roaring calls from the other side

The brothers risked their lives in the desperate pursuit of a female to mate with after hearing their roaring calls from the other side

Uganda's Kazinga Canal (pictured) connects Lakes George and Edward and is the go-to destination for tourists as the popular boat trips provide great wildlife spotting opportunities

Uganda’s Kazinga Canal (pictured) connects Lakes George and Edward and is the destination for tourists as the popular boat trips provide great wildlife spotting opportunities

According to Dr. Braczkowski, Jacob and Tibu achieved the longest recorded swim by lions, with an estimated distance of somewhere between 1.5 and 2 km.

While this may seem like an extreme effort in the search for love, the mating options for men are becoming increasingly limited.

In Queen Elizabeth National Park, males outnumber females two to one, partly due to the deliberate poisoning of lionesses (and cubs) whose populations are still recovering.

In Africa, lions face threats such as retaliatory killings in response to livestock depredation and poaching for their body parts such as teeth, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

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Dr. Braczkowski estimates that there are forty lions in the park today, up from about seventy in 2018.

There is only one species of lion (Panthera leo), but there are two subspecies: the African lion and the Asiatic lion.

Globally, populations are described as declining and ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN Red List, the Global Conservation Status and Extinction Risk of Species Inventory.

According to an Oxford University-led study last year, lions are being ‘increasingly pushed to the brink’ as population numbers continue to suffer ‘devastating declines’.

Although the total wild lion population in Africa can be estimated at between 20,000 and 25,000 individuals, many of these lions live in small, fragmented populations that are at risk of extinction.

Jacob and Tibu’s ambitious journey is described in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

At least one of them is having a good time! Male lion roars as he plays with the lioness… who looks very impressed

A wildlife photographer has captured the moment a male lion roars with passion as he plays with a lioness, who seems incredibly impressed by the situation.

Renata Ewald spotted the pair earlier this year during a solo ride in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

She says lions typically “sleep and mate every 20 minutes,” but because the moments of passion last only a few seconds, they can be difficult to photograph.

Despite the woman’s apparent lack of enthusiasm, Ms. Ewald said the moment “gave me goosebumps.”

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