Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Night School For Tsavo Lion Cubs

A lioness teaches her cub the skills of night hunting at Ngutuni in Kenya.

If you come across a pride of lions in the middle of the day, these big cats might seem alittle less formidable in terms of activity to the first time viewer. 

Lazily resting for prolonged hours - usually between 10am to 5pm, the only form of movement one could expect would be the occasional yawn or change in sleeping position under a well shaded bush or tree. 

Come nightfall however, the dynamics and behavior of the pride begins to take a twist. Lions become more active at dawn and from dusk leading way into the night. Having excellent nocturnal vision, the lion gets an unparalleled advantage compared to its prey who are rendered somewhat blind in the darkness. The hunting strategy of the pride changes. Instead of looking for heavy cover like a day time hunt, the lion quietly and casually approaches its prey staying low to the ground before it makes a short and usually successful chase. The other members of the pride may also get involved in the hunt by staying low to the ground on the flanks. They will leap on the prey incase it makes an unexpected turn during its fleeing moment of blinded confusion.

All along, the prides young cubs attentively watch and learn the art of night time hunting from their mom and their aunts attempts.

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