Tag archives for Lions
Just looking at our Land Cruiser made me excited, it was the perfect open air safari truck and how we would be traveling through Botswana’s best game parks for the next week. Our guide William was a wealth of knowledge with everything from birds and antelope to the traditional food (which he ate an extraordinarily large amount of)!
Our first sighting was a herd of elephant just steps away. We thought we were hearing lions off in the distance but William told us that it was just the sound of the elephant’s stomachs digesting their food.
Speaking of digestion you should know that while all of this was happening I was curled up in a ball with a case of African belly. But it was my fault for trying all these new yummy African foods.
Even though I felt awful we still had an epic game drive. We saw loads of impala, warthog, elephant, and monkeys with blue butts (they are called velvet monkeys, although I think they should just be called blue butts). As we were setting up camp a herd of elephant walked right by, it made my heart beat soooo fast! We spent all of our nights enjoying braii cooked meals and gazing at the stars.
That night while we slept hippos danced two feet from our heads, lions walked through our camp and monkeys got into our trash. It’s a good thing that I am a sound sleeper.
We saw hundreds of elephants throughout our next day and they always brought a smile to my face.
We then experienced a giraffe fight. There were two males fighting over a female and they would swoop down with their heads and bang the other guy in the belly. It seemed like this was all happening in slow motion and made it very funny to watch. I wasn’t sure who was winning but I knew the next day they were going to have some serious stomach aches (just like me.)
Each of our games drives had been so incredible that we couldn’t imagine things getting better, but they did… guess what we saw? Ya… you are right it, was a male lion walking down the road… wait no he wasn’t walking he was strutting his stuff just as if he were a runway model. He had all kinds of scars all over his face so we realized he wasn’t the kind of cat you wanted to cuddle up with.
Then something even more amazing happened we came across a leopard and her fully grown cub lounging on a dead tree. They didn’t have a care in the world all that mattered to them was their nap. After we watched them lounge for a while it started to rain cats and dogs… no not latterly but if you keep listening we saw more of each!
Next a lion spotting even more amazing than the first. He was in the high grass and you could tell the thunder and lightning really freaked him out. Whenever it would boom his eyes got really big and he would yawn giving us a great view of those massive canines. Right then William got close enough that in one little bound he could be on my lap but luckily that didn’t happen! Phew!!!!
Now you want to hear about the dogs? Okay, I will tell you. On our way back to a swamp of a camp I spotted something frightening two wild dogs trying to get a yummy impala dinner. We were really lucky to see these wild guys because William told us there are only 4,000 in all of Africa.
To end our epic day we saw a black mamba getting a drink from a puddle. Just so you know black mambas are very poisons and my mom doesn’t like snakes so it absolutely freaked her out.
On our final day in Chobe National Park we completed our sightings of the big five with a cape buffalo off in the distance. I heard they can be very ornery for no reason at all so I was fine by me that they were far away. Their horns look like someone used a lot of gel in their hair to make a silly hairdo.
Sadly all of the excitement in these incredible parks was coming to an end, but there are still loads of adventures to come. Talk to you next week!
While most six-to-nine-year-old boys spend most of their days studying and playing, Richard Turere of Kenya tried to protect his father’s cows from lions. Richard found the lions “very annoying, because they were killing my father’s cows.” He started thinking up ways to scare away the lions. He tried everything from fires (which only seemed to help the lions) to scarecrows. Yet, the lions would find a way around because they “are very clever,” he says. However, he noticed the most effective way was when he would walk around with a flashlight.
After taking apart his mother’s new radio, he rigged a few simple wires and light bulbs together to create a machine that would flash a series of lights, tricking the lions into thinking someone was walking around with a flashlight. It worked, and soon there were seven other homes in Richard’s community using his “lion lights.”
Although lions are known as the kings of the jungle, their numbers have been dwindling due to a loss of habitat and prey. Humans have been encroaching on the lion’s home turf by cutting down trees to create farmland and other developments. This causes the lions to lose both their home and favorite foods.
Any amount will do, but five dollars can buy a lion guardian to protect the big cats.
Photograph by Beverly Joubert
National Geographic Society kicked off the American version of the Big Cats Initiative (BCI) “Sister School Program” at Steuart Weller Elementary School in Ashburn, Virginia, during a school-wide assembly with BCI’s Luke Dollar. The Sister School Program connects American students with students in Tanzania to encourage protection of big cats, specifically lions.
The Big Cats Initiative, made up of conservationists led by National
Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, hope to
stop this decline and to restore the population.
Get more information on the Big Cats Initiative.
Let African leaders know how important lions are to you by writing a letter.
Read a Q&A with Luke Dollar.
Seven lion cubs were born at the National Zoo this summer. Lioness Shera had four cubs, while lioness Nababiep had three. Now all seven cubs have been named!
Shera’s cubs are named John, Fahari, Zuri, and Lelie. Lelie, meaning “lily,” is the winning female name from the Name a Cub contest. The name was submitted by a first-grade classroom at Marshall Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia. Nababiep’s cubs are named Aslan, Lusaka, and Baruti. Baruti is the winning male name from the contest. It means “teacher” and was submitted by a daycare class from the Bright Horizons Child Care & Education at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.
Visit the National Zoo’s website to learn how the other names were chosen.
Want to help save lions? Visit Letters to Lions to find out how to send a letter to African leaders.
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian National Zoo
In August, seven cubs were born at the National Zoo! The Zoo is giving the public a chance to name two of the cubs, one male and one female. If you want to submit a name, create a 90-second video containing the name you think would be best for one of the cubs and explain why you chose that name.
U.S. residents over the age of 13 should submit their videos by midnight on Sunday, December 5. If you are younger than 13 but you still want to participate, make it a family project and have your parent or guardian submit the video.
Learn more about the cub-naming contest on the National Zoo’s website.
Help save lions! Find out how by visiting Letters to Lions.
This week, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. welcomed four new arrivals–baby lions! This is Shera’s first litter of cubs, and so far the family is doing wonderfully. The cubs won’t be out in the lion yard until late in the fall, according to keepers.
Learn more about the baby lions and watch a video on the National Zoo’s website.
Get the facts on lions in the Creature Feature.
The Big Cats Initiative, led by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, hope to stop the decline of lion and other big cat populations. Learn more on National Geographic.
Locate lions and watch Crittercam videos in the Crittercam: African Adventure game on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo
Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas wanted to test their new invention, a remote-controlled buggy-mounted camera in Tanzania. The “Beetlecam,” outfitted with powerful motors, off-road tires, long-lasting batteries, and a digital SLR camera, can enter places where people can’t go. It takes pictures at set intervals or by remote control, but when the Burrard-Lucas brothers tried to take pictures of lions from a distance with the BeetleCam, a curious lioness made off with it!
The lions destroyed the camera, but its memory card was recovered in one piece, giving us a glimpse of the photographs the lion “photographer” took.
See more pictures and read more about the lion photographer on National Geographic News.
Play Crittercam: African Adventure and recover more footage of lions!
Photograph by Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas
Photograph by Beverly Joubert
Africa’s lion population is quickly getting smaller and smaller, and action must be taken immediately to save these majestic animals.To raise awareness, the National Geographic Society launched the Big Cats Initiative this month. This project will support programs and education that will help the big cats of the world, with a special focus on lions.
Dereck and Beverly Joubert are one of the big forces behind the project. They are National Geographic Explorers-in Residence who have spent over 25 years studying and working to conserve Africa’s animals, especially the big cats. They want people to understand that when it comes to saving the big cats like lions and leopards, the time to act is now. “”We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” Dereck says.
Learn more about the Big Cats Initiative on National Geographic.
Get the facts on lions on National Geographic Kids.
Play Crittercam: African Adventure on National Geographic Kids.
BOOK NAME: African Critters
AUTHOR: Robert B. Haas
I liked this book a lot! The man who wrote the book really did go to Africa to spend time with all of the animals. He wrote about and took pictures of leopards, hyenas, lions, elephants, impalas, wild dogs, hippos, rhinos, bugs, alligators, dung beetles, and cheetahs. The pictures of the animals were AWESOME!
I liked the leopards story the best. I liked this story because I thought it was good. The mother cared for her cubs by protecting them from the people when they got too close by growling and she fed them and she let them play on the rocks, tackle each other on the grass under her watchful eye.
The saddest part was when the mom and the dad lions were hunting and the three cubs were found by the wild buffaloes. One of the lion cubs was found dead on the ground, one cub was hiding in a small bush and breathing hard because it was so scared. The author came back the next morning and found two of the cubs with their mom. This was sad but it is nature’s life. I recommend this book because it had good pictures and good words to describe the animals.