Simba may have had the lead role, but we all know Nala is the one who really rules the roost…
As you may know, August is Women’s month in South Africa – a month dedicated to shining a light on the soft yet strong, gentle yet powerful female figures in our families and communities. But that’s not what this blog is about. Well, not exactly. Today, I am talking about the equally fierce females in the animal kingdom.
Here are four powerhouse females of the natural world that we see at Londolozi…
Pachyderms paving their own paths.
The natural world holds many examples of great leadership, although none more so than the matriarch of an elephant herd. She is the eldest, wisest female in the family. With the knowledge and experiences she’s learnt from the matriarch before her, plus the trust and respect she’s earned from the herd, she can influence the behaviour for generations to come. The matriarch guides and guards her herd until she can no longer. Thereafter, her eldest, wisest daughter takes the throne.
I got it from my mama.
Power is passed down with these matriarchal mammals. Hyenas break all stereotypes as the females are the bigger, more aggressive animals in the clan. I feel I need to mention the pseodopenis, too…
The female cubs will also inherit their social rank from their mothers, while males, once puberty has been reached, leave the clan in search of a new one to join and a female to mate with. Once these young males find a new clan, they assume the position of the lowest ranking member, thus the matriarchal hierarchy continues.
The King Bee? Never heard of him.
The mother of all bees in the hive, the queen bee leaves only once to mate with male drones. This excursion gives her the ability to lay fertilized eggs for up to 5 years! When she isn’t patrolling the hive, looking for empty honeycomb cells to deposit an egg into, she spends the rest of her time being groomed and fed by her worker bees – what more could a gal want.
A Queen of the jungle in her own right.
Allogrooming and nursing is seen amongst the females within a pride where the care of cubs is a shared responsibility. The bonds established during these tender years form the cornerstone of the pride for generations to come. From the day they’re born, to the day they die, lionesses will rarely veer from their pride, and it is this consistency that establishes a matriarchal social system within the pride.
The natural world is incredibly captivating, and maybe the reason we’re so captivated is because we can see so many similarities in our own lives, our own communities and cultures. It’s in elephants that we see the familiarity of trusting and respecting our wise, old grandmas; or the way moms trust our aunts and friends-who-become-family to look after us, just as lionesses and their cubs do…
There are so many beautiful, beautiful lessons to be learnt from the females around us.
“May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”
Because, let’s be honest…
Who runs the world? Grrrls. 😉