Meet Africa’s Big Five: the Lion (2/5)


Africa’s “Big Five” animals are so-named because they’re the most dangerous to bump into in the bush!

The African lion (Panthera leo) is the world’s second-largest cat – only the Bengal tiger has more miaow – and, given its tactics of hunting in groups, it’s perhaps the most impressive predator in the African bush.

As shown here, not even membership in the elite Big Five counts as protection against lion tooth and claw: the unfortunate buffalo which comprisies this young male’s dinner was set upon the day before by three growling, prowling brothers. This particular kill helps dispel the myth that only female lions hunt; that’s often the case in prides, but not when the animals roam outside of the family structure.

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Because they’re so difficult to spot – they melt in and out of the grass marvellously – lions provide some of the most thrilling encounters in African wildlife parks. It’s always best, of course, if such encounters involve the comfort and safety of a game viewing vehicle…