The Washington Times - June 30, 2009, 06:13AM

A new study shows that lions form prides to defend their turf against other lions, not to hunt more efficiently, the BBC is reporting.

Prides operate like street gangs to keep out interlopers, and the bigger the pride, the more successful the lions are, said a leading researcher.


The discovery helps explain why lions, uniquely among the cat species, live together in social groups.

It also explains all of those drive-by maulings on the savannah. (“Hey, fuzz face. Move off my turf or we’re gonna rumble!”)

Who knew lions were so gangsta? I just wonder if rival prides more resemble the Crips and the Bloods from Los Angeles … or the Sharks and the Jets from “West Side Story.” (“When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way/From your first cigarette to your last dyin’ day”)

I’ll bet gangsta lions have really cool names, like Ghost-Face Killa, only more liony. Like Growly McRoarer.

You know, lionesses do most of the hunting in a pride. And you know how mean girl gangs can be. They can be really catty.

You gotta be careful around gangsta lions. If you flash the wrong symbol, they’ll be all over you like, well, a pack of lions.