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Lions Stopping Traffic in South Africa

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Nobody likes being stuck in a traffic jam. Except maybe if what’s causing it, is a bunch of playful lion cubs and their mommies. What would make it incredibly worthwhile, would be having this happen when you’re traveling through a game reserve; where seeing something so spectacular is exactly what you set out for.

Lions in South Africa

There’s no better way to see a wild animal, than in their natural habitat. South Africa is an excellent place to make that happen. These lions, who were waking up after spending the night soaking up the heat of the road, live in Kruger National Park.

Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa. It’s almost 2 million hectares, this is nearly 5 million acres for those of us not familiar with hectares. It stretches out for about 218 miles from north to south and is larger than the State of Israel.

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Here is a place where you can observe lions doing what lions naturally do; which is mostly sleeping. They can sleep for up to 18 hours a day. Typical cat type behavior.

It’s estimated that lions only eat every three or four days, but can go for more than a week without eating. If they go that long they’ll gorge themselves on prey, consuming nearly a quarter of their body weight. I think I would too, if I went a week without eating. Zebra, beware!

Female lions are responsible for 85 to 90% of all of the hunting. In South Africa, lions have a wide variety of prey that they can choose from. A few of their favorites are zebra, buffalo and believe it or not, giraffes.

In many cases, half of the prey that lions acquire has been stolen from other animals that had already done all of the work. Cheetah are often targeted and scared off of their kill.

Lions are big cats, after all. I think being lazy must be a natural part of belonging to that category. I suppose scavenging food, instead of hunting it down themselves, would leave more time for sleeping.

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Julie Antonson

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