“There is not a case of this within recent memory where we’ve seen a lioness attack her mate,” said Hollie Colahan, a lion Species Survival Plan coordinator for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a nonprofit organization in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Not your typical Barstool story, but I’ve been fascinated by this story coming out of the Indianapolis Zoo. (I get really fascinated by news stories – probably part of my addictive personality, but once I latch on to a big story, I read every single thing I can about it and follow it religiously. It’s been the Khashoggi story for the past couple of weeks – if you have any questions about it, ask Francis or me, it’s basically all we talk about – a welcome break from our daily conversations about how much he increased his bench max at Equinox that morning.)
Anyway, back to Indianapolis:
A lioness murdered her husband in front of their 3 children, in what experts are calling an “extremely rare” occurrence. Stuff like this basically never happens, where the female kills the male lion, especially when they have offspring.
“We’ve had a very small number of incidents of male-on-male or female-on-female, but for an incident to arise from a female attacking a male is very unusual,” Colahan said.
…”This is something you almost never see,” Funston said. “I think this is sort of a freak incident, associated with the fact that lions are kept in captivity.”
So grab your fanny packs and comfortable sneakers, and let me take you to the zoo for a second.
Zuri and Nyack have been married for 8 years and have 3 children. Sure they’ve been in captivity, but all marriage is a form of captivity, fellas am I right? Anyway, Zuri woke up one morning and decided she’d had enough. Maybe Nyack was sniffing around the other ladies’ cages a little too much, maybe he was leaving his dirty dishes in the sink, maybe he was neglecting the kids and household chores to watch football. Who knows – the zookeepers don’t know. They have no idea. Experts have no idea. Nobody knows why Zuri all of a sudden fatally strangled her husband as their 3 children watched on.
The zoo said in a statement on Friday that Nyack, a 10-year-old male African lion, had died after staff found him held in a tight grip by Zuri, a 12-year-old female, hours before the zoo opened last Monday. The two big felines had been together in the same habitat for eight years, breeding three cubs in 2015.
“We consider this to be very rare,” said David Hagan, a curator for the Indianapolis Zoo. “It was a total shock to the animal care team.”
Zuri’s and Nyack’s offspring — two males, named Enzi and Mishaka, and a female, named Sukari — watched on.
One possible explanation from a wildlife conservation researcher was the effect of the captivity – in the wild, once the cubs turn 2, the male lion usually leaves to join other prides, leaving his children with their mother and a lifetime of daddy issues. Being in such close proximity for so long after those 2 years may have led to some sort of unusual stress and behavior. But they also agree that this is just a theory, and “they may never know” why this happened.
But then we had Craig “Pack-Man” Packer, head of “The Lion Center” (which is a real thing) at the University of Minnesota, drop in – and let me tell you, Nyack (God rest his soul) is going to wish that he never, ever did:
Craig Packer, head of the Lion Center at the University of Minnesota, was one of their first calls.
“What I understand from the zoo is that this was a very unusual male and an unusual female,” Packer said in an interview on Monday. “The male was very weak and submissive, and the female was very dominant of the male.”
“It’s almost as if [the male lion] was just too wimpy, like some sort of metrosexual, and he didn’t live up to the macho standard of male lion behavior,” he said.
Poor fucking Nyack. My dude just got strangled to death by his wife. His own children watched their father get choked into submission by their mother. And as if that wasn’t emasculating enough…
…Here comes the Pack-Man saying he was a wimpy little bitch metrosexual. Didn’t live up to “the macho standard of male behavior” which in layman’s terms means, he was a total pussy. Prancing around his habitat in skinny jeans sipping mocha lattes while some hipster Brooklyn folk band blasts through his AirPods. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but unfortunately, Zuri wanted a manly man. She wanted a man who she felt safe with, protected. She doesn’t care about the rising awareness of mental health that encourages men to shed their tough outer layer and let their feelings and emotions out with the help of a therapist. She wants an old school, 1950s Mad Man with a glass of scotch in his hand, a cigarette perpetually dangling from his lip, and a strong, rugged exterior.
Nyack couldn’t provide that, and it got his throat ripped out.
I just hope the two male cubs who watched this all go down learned something from it. I hope Enzi and Mishaka see that they have to be strong and manly, so what happened to their father never happens to them. So that their dad’s death wasn’t in vain. Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it. (– Rafiki)
And I hope Sukari learned a lesson too – don’t let no man fuck with you. And if he does, rip his god damn larynx out.