Veterinarians on the Oklahoma Metropolis Zoo are baffled by an 18-year-old lioness’ new hairdo.
The lioness, Bridget, mysteriously started to develop a mane between March and November of final 12 months, the zoo stated.
Whereas male lions sometimes develop a mane at one 12 months of age because of a rise in testosterone, it’s “exceptionally uncommon” for females to ever develop the additional hair, Gretchen Cole, an affiliate veterinarian on the Oklahoma Metropolis Zoo, advised ABC Information.
“After some time, it turned apparent to everyone that Bridget was growing one thing a bit completely different,” Cole stated.
Whereas Bridget’s mane is uncommon, it’s not the primary time a lioness has grown a mane, based on the Oklahoma Metropolis Zoo.
A 13-year-old lioness residing on the Nationwide Zoo in South Africa started to develop a mane in 2011 because of a drawback along with her ovaries. Her physique produced an excessive amount of testosterone consequently. And 5 lionesses residing in Botswana have been seen with manes in 2014, based on the Oklahoma Metropolis Zoo.
A benign tumor on Bridget’s adrenal or pituitary glands may be the trigger, based on the zoo, as these glands regulate testosterone and different hormones.
There’s additionally an opportunity that Bridget’s situation might be genetic.
To find out the trigger, veterinarians took Bridget’s blood and can examine it to a pattern of her sister Tia’s blood. In contrast to Bridget, Tia, who can be 18-years-old, has remained mane-less.
Fortunately, Bridget’s veterinarians don’t suppose the lioness’ high quality of life shall be affected by the situation. Total, Bridget, who is taken into account to be “geriatric,” is in good well being, Cole stated, including that large cat has retained her “sturdy perspective.”