Monday, November 26, 2012

I saw a lion in a tree . . .

Today's entry will be short as I have the grandmother of all colds (pounding sinus headache, no stamina). But we were rather fortunate to see these lionesses simply perched up in a tree, taking an afternoon siesta.
Lions resting in tree, TarangireNational Park, Tanzania

You can see in this next picture how the lioness's tummy just hangs over the branch. That means no body has to worry about the lions hunting just yet. Apparently, the lions take life easy about 20 hours a day, but once the sun goes down, they become active. If a lion is hungry, males and females can hunt at any time, but the most common time to hunt is at dawn. We heard their coughs/calls (marking their territory?) in the early morning when we slept in our very comfortable tent city at Lake Burunge.

The lions we saw were in social groups, from 3 to 5 to a pride, mixed male and female, or loners (which our guides called losers), typically males who were not part of a family pride. In east Africa, according to Wikipedia, just in the last 20 years, the lion population has been cut in half by expanding human population. In Tanzania, the only sure survival of a lion is within one of the national parks which make up 30% of the country.

Still it was marvelous to see the lion taking its ease up in a tree. Tune in tomorrow to see what zebras and wildabeest have in common.

1 comment:

Francene Stanley said...

Absolutely wonderful pictures. Memories to treasure for your whole life.