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The Lions of Kruger National Park

Updated: May 11

This is a continuation of my series documenting the Big 5 at Kruger National Park. The Big 5 include the 5 most dangerous animals that have historically been hunted in the African jungles.


 

The Lion, the King of the jungle! Perhaps the scariest of the Big 5? But for me it is the elephant. I mean, after grabbing a tiger by the tail, why would I fear this kitty kat?:


These were among the most difficult to spot at Kruger National Park. All these photos were taken during my first visit to the park. My second visit I think I only had one encounter.


It's unfortunate I didn't have these Lion sitings during my second visit as my iPhone camera was greatly upgraded by then. I don’t recall which phone model camera I had for this trip, but it's obvious the resolution was not that great.


Regardless, here are some of the best photos of lions I got on this trip:

The lions were always traveling with others in a pride. The females outnumber the males in most prides. They have to since they do all the work! They are the principle hunters of the pride as well as care to the young. The male lion's life seems to be a good one!


I rarely saw much activity from them. Would have loved to seen a good hunt on their part. There were plenty of zebras they could feast on there.


Lions actually are helpful to the environment. By hunting zebra and wilderbeasts, they prevent overpopulation of these herbivores. Too many plant eating animals wipe out the food source and leads to starvation to all who rely on the green stuff.


Lions actually sleep up to 20 hours per day. They typically do their hunting at night. Likely the reason I never saw many while there.


Looks like a mirror image doesn't it?




There are only around 20,000 of these magnificent beasts today. There were likely hundreds of thousands before European settlers came. Not only has hunting diminished their numbers, but also the loss of natural habitat.


I see the same thing play out in my Florida neighborhood. As more and more land is cleared for buildings, the bear in particular are more visible in populated neighborhoods. They simply don't have food in their limited habitat and resort to garbage hunts instead.


I'm happy to see game preserves be the source of their habitats rather than zoos. Kruger National Park in South Africa is a rare gem




This was an early morning shot. My first encounter of my second day in the park. It is common for lions to claw trees to sharpen their claws. It keeps them pointy not only for hunting, but also for tree climbing



I was lucky to find a Lion so photogenic!


I saw these just after the entrance to the park that second morning. What a great treat! Never got a better shot of them after that morning. Not only do they own the jungle, but the road too. It didn't seem to bother them at all with the cars by their side.







These are really impressive animals to watch in the wild. Although I never saw them perform anything spectacular, just being in their presence was a huge treat.


But, I can tell you, I would never dare to grab a Lion by the tail like I did the tiger. Not even in a "controlled" environment.



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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
May 10
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

You were fortunate to get many pictures of such an amazing animal. I agree it's awesome that you got to see all the creatures in the wld. Thanks for bringing me on this adventure

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Kirk
Kirk
May 11
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Glad to do it!

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