Walking with Lions
Trip Start Nov 05, 2005
39Trip End Jun 10, 2006
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20 years ago 250,000 lions were roaming the African continent. Now there are only 25,000. The reasons for this decrease are that humans are occupying more land, poachers are busy making money and diseases such as feline version of AIDS or Anthrax are affecting them.
As a result, so conservation programmes are being set up to help rase the cubs from the age of 3 weeks to the age of 2 in order to make sure they grow to be 'King'.
The opporutnity for tourists to walk with wild lions for an hour helps pay for this programme to survive.
So, after we are told to watch out for wild animals, to turn around when we here the guides say 'watch your back' and not to croutch down - we head off with J-lee, T-Jay and Becca on an hour walk into the bushes. We are able to stroke them gently (not on their head), take photos with them while the guides are bouncing around to get their attention and just hold their tail while walking. Although these activities seem very tame, it is very frightening to know that they are still wild animals and not trained to be tame. At anytime they can turn around and claw you, which one of them nearly did when guy in the group got very confident and decided to go too close just for a picture opportunity.
We were not to show fear as the lions read 95% body language, so it would be obvious to them if we were to jump in fear or stare them in the eyes. This would come as a threat and they would want to impose their power by pouncing.
It was a very enjoyable walk, although very frightening.... I thoroughly enjoyed it and am fully supportive of the programme now I have seen what they do.
By the way....volunteers are welcome if you fancy. Nice setting, beautiful job...are you tempted.
Once I get the photos online, this entry will seem a lot more interesting cause the animals are amazing.