"Lion dinner time" Big 5 Tip by Beefy_SAFC

Big 5, Kruger National Park: 42 reviews and 66 photos

  Lion Dinner Time
by Beefy_SAFC

These lads and lasses eat anything that move, even elephants, rhinoceros and hippopotami if they are in big enough prides.

The males are also the ultimate posers, leaving most of the work (including the hunting) to the females (though they will take prey by themselves if they get the chance) and just strolling around their territories, marking their patch and announcing their presence to the females and challengers VERY LOUDLY (boy they roar). All you need are a few beers and you've Newcastle-upon-Tyne on a weekend.

In the top picture, the lionesses were getting very touchy due to the nearby presence of a pair of jackal (tried to photo but pictures didn't come out), which given the opportunity would snatch at least some of the meal from the lions.

Did you know that a lion is actually a type of panther (Panthera Leo) along with the leopard - surprising considering that lions are pack hunters and leopards are largely solitary. Cats are classified into three separate groups - along with the Panther family (Panthera), there's Felis (into which the domestic cat, the caracal and the African Wildcat go) and Acinonyx (of which the cheetah is a member). Lions and Cheetahs used to be far more widespread and until man played his as normal negative part, they were common not only in Africa, but also over large parts of India and Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and surrounding countries). Outside Africa, only a small population of Asiatic Lions remain in the Gir Forest in southern India and 60 or so cheetah remain in part of Iran. The fossil record shows that they also lived in North America up until the end of the last Ice Age.

Another surprising fact is that despite their more dog-like appearance and behaviour, hyenas are actually more closely related to cats than any other type of carnivore. I as well as the guides had opted for dogs being the nearest relative - just goes to show you that appearances can be deceptive.

I didn't see any leopards, cheetahs or hyenas - they wouldn't come out to pose for photos.

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  • Written Oct 24, 2004
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