Hey, guys, you’re cramping my style! Boisterous brothers give each other a ‘lion hug’ after spending a night apart
This is the spectacular moment three boisterous lions appear to merge as one during a game of rough and tumble in a South African game park.
For a split-second the young brothers came together in a “group hug” and appeared as though they had three heads on one body.
An eagled-eye photographer captured the creatures resembling Cerberus, the three-headed beast that guarded the gates of the Underworld in Greek mythology.
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The trio eventually toppled down in a heap on one another before giving the game up and basking in the sun.
They began the brotherly game as a way to welcome back one of the lions, who had been away from the pack for a night.
Afterresting for 15 minutes at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa, the group stood up and walked off in search of food.
The moment was captured by amateur photographer Basil Dardagan earlier this year.
Basil,34, from Victoria in South Africa said: “I was on a photographic holiday with a friend and we were driving around looking for game to take pictures of.
“We came across two male lions and then saw them suddenly jump up and act really excited.
Amateur photographer Basil Dardagan managed to capture the pictures in a split second before the three brothers collapsed in a heap and dozed off
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“The lions started running towards their brother and began playing, so I began taking a series of photos.
“They greeted each other with almost a group hug, and I made sure I was in the right position to get this shot with their heads all together.
“They only stood like that for less than a second before they all came down so I used a fast shutter speed.
“It was pretty lucky to get the shot and my friend was pretty impressed.”
Lions, Panthera leo in Latin, are the most socially inclined of all wild felids, most of which remain quite solitary in nature.
A pride usually consists of five or six related females, their cubs of both sexes, and one or two males .
Male cubs are excluded from their maternal pride when they reach maturity.