Lioness Grows Rare Female Mane

A female lion named Bridget living at an Oklahoma City Zoo baffled the veterinarians there when it suddenly grew a mane. Manes are very common among male lions, but lionesses are known for not growing the shady hair around their necks.  The cause of the mane could not be explained by the staff at the zoo, but they did say that they were going to be analyzing blood samples to solve this one.


“After a while, it became obvious to everybody that Bridget was developing something a little different,” Gretchen Cole, an associate veterinarian at the zoo said, “Changes when a female develops characteristics of a male are unusual. It’s only the outward appearance of the mane that has changed. We are trying to solve the puzzle.” Bridget also started displaying male attributes such as roaring.


Manes in lions usually develop in males at the adolescent age because of high testosterone levels. While it is rare for female lions to develop manes, many scientists have seen this occur in the wild in recent years. The vets at the zoo are trying to determine if the mane growth is because of excessive hormones in the lion or some underlying health condition. If it is just a hormone imbalance, then Bridget will be fine, but it there is a problem in her glands or a tumor has grown, they will have to address the issue. Bridget’s sister at the zoo, Tia, is also 18 years old and has not developed a mane.

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