Baby lions meet their relatives, video

This 15 May 2019 video from Africa says about itself:

Newborn Lion Cubs Are Introduced to Their Cousins

A lioness returns to her pride with four new cubs, all male. She will take her place among her sisters, who have their own cubs, and together they’ll share suckling duty.


Lions against porcupines, new study

This 2018 video is called Lion, Leopard Fail Hunting Porcupine.

From the Field Museum in the USA:

Lions vs. porcupines

Historical records show what leads lions to hunt porcupines and what happens when they do

May 8, 2019

Summary: Lions can bring down wildebeests and giraffes, but when they try to hunt porcupines, the spiky rodents often come out on top. When lions attack porcupines (it’s usually young male lions that make that mistake), the porcupine’s spines can seriously injure the lion. These injuries can make it impossible for the lions to hunt normally, leading them to hunt livestock or even humans. This study is a deep dive into lion-porcupine interactions over the centuries.

Not much can mess with a lion. They’re four-hundred-pound top predators, bringing down large prey like wildebeests, zebras, and even giraffes. But they’re not invincible — a new study delves into the interactions between lions and porcupines, and shows how these spiky, cocker spaniel-sized critters can come out on top.

“By examining records of lions that have been injured by porcupines, we were able to develop a better picture of the conditions that lead lions to try to hunt porcupines and what happens to the lions who get stuck,” says Julian Kerbis Peterhans, a researcher at the Field Museum, professor at Roosevelt University, and lead author of the new study in the Journal of East African Natural History.

“It’s David and Goliath on the African savanna. The powerful king of the savanna tries to eat a juicy, fat porcupine, but he gets hurt by the quills,” says co-author Gastone Celesia, a volunteer at the Field and professor emeritus of neurology at Loyola University Chicago. “Even though lions are at the top of the food chain, they get injured if they don’t watch what they’re doing.”

African porcupines are large rodents, weighing about about forty pounds, and predators (including humans) seek them out for their tasty meat. But their backs are covered in sharp quills made of keratin, the same material as hair and fingernails. These quills, which can be a foot long or more, can detach and get stuck in the flesh of predators careless or desperate enough to attack the porcupines.

There are stories and records of lions getting injured by porcupines going back hundreds of years — in June, July, and August of 1656,an official from the Dutch East Company in Cape Town wrote in his diary about three different lions that had been stuck with porcupine quills. In many of these cases, the lions’ injuries made it harder for them to hunt or eat. They sometimes turned to easier prey, like cattle or even humans. However, prior to this study, no one had carefully compiled all the records of lions injured by porcupines to better understand the two species’ relationship. The team scoured scientific literature, stories in the popular press, and even YouTube videos looking for evidence of lion-porcupine interactions.

“I think that digging deeply into the historic literature, especially very early sources, has largely fallen out of fashion in the modern era,” says Tom Gnoske, a co-author of the paper and an assistant collections manager at the Field Museum. “There are treasures still to be found, but going back in the written record four centuries, well, that takes some patience and time.”

The team found evidence of about fifty lions that had been injured or killed by porcupines. Several trends appeared to emerge from the data. Lions that lived on harsher, drier terrain seemed to rely more on porcupines for food, at least periodically, perhaps because other prey weren’t available. Young lions were more likely to try to hunt porcupines than older lions. And most of the lions injured by porcupines were male.

“There was a tendency for males to be more often wounded or killed by porcupines — sort of a ‘young foolish male syndrome,'” says Kerbis Peterhans. To compound matters, young males aren’t just taking part in risky behavior, but when they so alone, without other lions to help them if they do get hurt, they are more vulnerable. “In social contexts, a lion can remove porcupine quills with the help of a friend, but this is not possible if they are solitary,” he explains.

In addition to piecing together clues about what drives lions to hunt porcupines despite the risk the rodents pose, the researchers were able to use CT scans to more closely examine the effects that porcupine quills have had on lion specimens. The team scanned the skulls of two man-eating lions from 1965. One had been stuck through the nose with a nine-inch quill, and the other had an inch-long segment of a quill embedded in the nerve pulp of its broken canine tooth.

“We were like detectives,” says Celesia of the forensic work the team did to better understand the injuries that the lions sustained and figure out what the effects on the lions’ hunting abilities would be. “CT scans let us reconstruct what happened in the past.”

The scans showed evidence of bone infections that would have impaired both of these lions’ ability to eat (or, in the case of the lion with a quill through its nose, to smell its prey) — factors that could have contributed to man-eating. Generally speaking, lions attack humans if something’s wrong, like if they’re not physically able to take down their usual prey or if they don’t have enough space or resources to hunt normally.

Kerbis Peterhans notes the importance of the study in better understanding a condition that leads lions to harm people. “Porcupine injuries are an anticipator of attacks on humans, there’s a potential impact on human beings,” he says. And the study has broader ecological significance, too. “We know from forty-plus years of continuous behavioral research on lions since the 1960s that lions prefer large hooved animals as prey, including antelope, zebra, and buffalo,” says Gnoske. “And our data suggest that by the time the lions are relegated to eating porcupines, there’s already a problem with the local food supply. Historic records tell us that when environmental conditions deteriorate, particularly in areas where lions and their preferred prey are already living on the edge, they find themselves in serious trouble with nearby humans or their livestock.”

“One moral of the story is that there no free lunch,” says Celesia. “Even the king of beasts doesn’t eat what he wants without paying a price.”

Elephant kills rhino poacher, lions eat him

This April 2017 video from the Kruger National Park in South Africa says about itself:

This might be the Cutest Elephant Attack ever! Baby Elephant joins Mom in Charge. Funny!

This Elephant Calf decided to join it’s Mom in a charge towards safari tourists. The little Elephant tries to keep up and eventually hit the front when it suddenly and (very proudly) gives a warning trumpet towards the tourists!

“It was a very memorable encounter. Our guide thought that there could be a problem as soon as we came upon the group and told us that we may have to reverse quickly to leave them alone. How right he was.”

However, not always elephant attacks in Kruger are so bloodless; and not always the targets are non-violent tourists.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Rhino poacher killed by elephant and eaten by lions

In South Africa, a suspected rhino poacher has cruelly encountered the dangers of nature. He was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions. A group of five were poaching in the Kruger National Park. One of them was attacked by an elephant and died then.

The other four informed relatives of the victim, who in turn warned the authorities. Park rangers went to the scene of the incident, but because it was getting dark, they couldn’t find the victim. The next day they did find him, but then it turned out that lions had taken advantage of the corpse. The rangers only found the skull and pants of the man.

The national park has indicated in a statement that it is unwise to enter Kruger illegally on foot. “There are many dangers and this incident proves that.” The other four poachers have been arrested, they will be tried.

Big five

The Kruger National Park is located in the northeast of South Africa, along the border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique. With over 19,000 square kilometers, it is almost half the size of the Netherlands. All types of the big five are found in the park: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo.

Poachers are a big problem just like in other game parks in Africa. They are often looking for the ivory of the tusks of elephants or the horn of rhinos.

Honey badgers survive lions

This 25 January 2019 video says about itself:

Lions intimidated by the fierce honey badgers

Honey badgers are known for their fearless nature and fierce attitude but even they are a bit cautious by their standards when facing a whole lion pride, nonetheless they left the scene unharmed simply due to their ferocious attitude.

Occurred on September, 2017 / Thornybush Nature Reserve, Rivonia, South Africa

Video filmer: “The video was taken on my morning game drive. We were tracking lions and found them but the lions got up and were moving. While they were moving, the lions and us in the game viewing vehicle stumbled upon the honey badgers. The badgers now had to move away from the vehicles and try and scare the lions away, which is not easy when you are drastically smaller than both. The badgers are extremely fierce animals and lions generally stay away from them. Some lions needed a new lesson on what they are cable of doing.”

Credit: Game Drive Channel via ViralHog

Lions attack giraffe, video

This 24 January 2019 video from South Africa says about itself:

EPIC: Giraffe Gives Lions a Ride!

Lions love to try to bring down a giraffe, because if they do, it is a massive meal that can last sometimes up to a week!

This hunt didn’t go so well, it almost looked like the giraffe was just giving the lions a lift to the other side of the road!

Africa’s version of Uber…

Francois Pienaar, safari guide, captured his best sighting ever last week in the Klaserie Game Reserve. He tells the story:

“On our early morning game drive, we found a pride of sleeping lions, as they usually do. My guests and I were watching them sleep, never expecting I was about to see the best sighting in my guiding career! We only spent a couple of minutes with them before they started moving off after their morning nap.

Whilst on our way following the lions, they spotted a very old giraffe bull unaware that a pride of lions had their eyes set on him. We sat quietly in the vehicle as we watched the lions stalking this old bull. After about 20 minutes of stalking, the chase was on! We raced in behind the lions, to see the action happening and hoping the lions would catch the big animal and bring it down.

As we tried to stay with these lions we saw some of the individuals grab at the legs and one female jumping on the back of the giraffe. With a big struggle and to our amazement the lions finally got the giraffe to a stop, still trying to bring it to the ground. The old bull giraffe, fighting to stay standing, managed to throw the lions off his back and fought his way out by trying to stomp on the lions. After about 5 hours the lions finally gave up and the old bull lived to see another day.”

How Not to Wake Up a Lioness

This 29 January 2019 video from Kenya says about itself:

Watch a massive male lion’s intense creep up to a sleeping lioness. Just as you think he is going to lie down next to her, he ends up waking her up in the absolute worst way possible!

This was filmed by 32-year-old safari guide, Joshua Loonkushu, on an evening game drive near the river. Joshua tells the story: “On the previous day, we had spotted this pride of lions that had just killed a wildebeest within the banks of the Sand River in Maasai Mara. I decided to head over there the next day to try and track them down. Luckily I managed to find them!