Scientists make lions friendlier by using ‘Love Hormone’

Lions are a herd species, but in reality, male lions are quite lonely, because they always have to protect their territory alone, so their personalities are quite aggressive and will react quickly. fiercely when there are strange lions approaching.

Although their drastic response is well suited to the need to live in the wild, scientists see it as a challenge to study and eliminate for lions living in the reserve or in naturally controlled captivity.

Scientists Make Lions More Friendly Using

Scientists have demonstrated that the “love hormone” oxytocin has a positive effect on the attachment of large cats in captivity. Lions tend to become aggressive when introduced to other lions in captivity, but according to new research results, spraying a little oxytocin up their noses can make the animals worse. This breast has become more friendly. Conservation efforts can be driven by these key interests as big cats are increasingly forced to live together in sanctuaries.

Recently, a group of researchers shared part of their work with lions in a wildlife reserve in Dinokeng, South Africa, they found that with a certain dose of ” “love hormone” oxytocin through the nose, the lions here will become gentler, less aggressive, accordingly their encounters or contact with strange lions will also become more peaceful. and less life-threatening.

Jessica Burkhart, first author of the paper and expert in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, USA, said: “I’ve always loved lions. I joined the study because I was tired of testing animal brains in the lab and wanted to study them in real life.“.

Scientists Make Lions More Friendly Using

In mammals, oxytocin is the key molecule that strengthens social bonds. It arises inside a mother’s brain when looking into her children’s eyes, promoting feelings of happiness and well-being. Scientists from different regions have found similar effects for other species. For lions, this hormone can help bond unfamiliar lions after they’ve been released from abusive conditions, such as zoos or circuses in a war zone, and then placed in conservation areas.

The researchers reported that 23 lions given this method seemed to immediately show signs of calming down and generally became more tolerant and less aggressive towards other lions.

Burkhart reported saying: “You can see that their aggressive features seem to disappear in an instant, they go from wrinkled and aggressive faces to this completely calm demeanor.“.

To provide data on the drug’s effectiveness, the team brought in a favorite toy for the lions to play with. Usually, lions will keep a distance of about 7 meters from each other, even if there is a pumpkin to lure them. However, when the lions were given oxytocin they tended to come closer together, now they are only 3.5 meters apart.

Scientists Make Lions More Friendly Using

Working at the Dinokeng Wildlife Sanctuary during the summers of 2018 and 2019, Burkhart and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota performed an experiment that used bits of raw meat to lure lions into fences. , and also try to give them oxytocin inhalation. This hormone must be sprayed directly through the nose, with a device similar to an antique perfume bottle so it can be delivered straight to their brains. As a result, after the experiment was carried out, 23 lions injected with this hormone became more gentle with others in their space.

However, when there is food, love seems to disappear completely. Even when used “Love Hormone”, the lions still show aggression when intruders get too close to their meal.

Trying to make the lions living in the area closer to each other is not only beneficial in cases of captivity. With growing populations, lions are often moved to fenced reserves from their original territories. Therefore, it becomes easier and more frequent for unfamiliar lions to meet each other.

Scientists Make Lions More Friendly Using

Oxytocin is a mammalian hormone that plays a role in the production of feelings of love. It is involved in creating emotional awareness and social attachment, and is believed to play a part in the formation of trust between people. It’s what makes the mother-child bond so powerful, so it’s also known as the “cuddle chemical” and “love hormone”. But it has also been found that males of many other animals respond similarly to oxytocin during paternity. chn

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