PD Photo: A pair of lions mating in the Masai Mara National Reserve (also spelled Maasai Mara), a large game reserve in south-western Kenya
Lions grow to reproductive stage in about four years, and females (lionesses) may even have given birth to cubs by this age. Lions do not mate at any particular time of year, though the females are polyestrous. A lioness may mate with more than one lion when she is in heat. During a mating bout that could last several days, the couple copulates twenty to forty times a day and they may even forgo eating.