Beautiful images capture a pride of lions in Tanzania trying to avoid the midday heat by climbing and sleeping up a tree.
Lions have been spotted 20 feet high in the Southern Serengeti, enjoying the breathtaking sights and simply relaxing. The pride is a photograph that initially appears to be a stunning image of an African landscape with an acacia tree in the foreground.
The lions may also be seen leaping onto branches and lounging in the shade in these photographs taken by a wildlife photographer.
Uganda and Tanzania in East Africa are the only areas in the world where it’s possible to come across “tree climbing lions,” large cats that, unlike tigers, are known to shun heights. To find their next victim and avoid the heat of the sun and bugs, researchers believe. Lions can struggle to climb trees because they weigh between 250 and 400 pounds, which makes it difficult.
The photos were taken while Hannah Strand, a 33-year-old photographic safari guide who has spent her whole life in Africa, was conducting a safari in the Southern Serengeti.
Given that this was our first encounter with the pride in the tree, Hannah explained, “we started further away and allowed them time to grow used to us.”
‘As time passed, we got a little closer. The lion is one of the most magnificent cats. They are not just bulky and muscular, but it’s amazing to see how they interact and form social relationships.
By saying: “Part of our everyday activities include a morning game drive, where we explore our surroundings and learn what nature has to offer,” Hannah described how she came to this amazing site.
The thrill of being a guide is that you can never be certain of what you could find.
“We saw two lion cubs hiding under a tiny shrub as we were returning to camp in the late morning.”
“As we watched, they turned and moved away from the open plains and towards the eco-turn, the acacia woods,” they said, “we assumed they may belong to a bigger pride that we had gotten familiar with in the area.”
In contrast to other large cats like leopards and tigers, which love to be spotted climbing, tree-climbing lions are rarely frequently sighted.
The only sites to find these kinds of lions, according to Discover Africa, are Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Ishasha, Western Uganda.
“Both of these nations are in East Africa,” they stated, “however there have been a few sightings on a South Africa safari of the lions in Kruger National Park demonstrating a similar love toward tree.”
“It is thought that lions climb trees as a behavioral adaptation to shield themselves from the continual itch of mosquito bites while lounging on the ground beneath trees.”
Some experts in animal behavior assert that these lions have mastered the skill of climbing trees in order to escape the oppressive heat on the ground. They can then unwind with a nice breeze and take a peaceful snooze without having to worry about what’s going on below.
Additionally, from this location, you may get a great view of how the prey moves as it crosses the plains in search of water and grazing spots.
While lions are not physiologically suited to climbing trees, these different groups have been able to perfect the technique over time and pass it down to their offspring, providing a great example of learned behavior as opposed to inherent inclination.
“Lions may weigh up to 400 pounds, therefore carrying their bodies up such tremendous heights is no easy effort,” the adage goes.
According to the New York Times, certain locations are where lions frequently climb but not elsewhere in Africa.
The Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area in Zimbabwe is home to lions, and conservation expert Moreangels Mbizah said: “The only reason they would want to climb is if there is anything on the ground that they’re avoiding.”
Some carnivores climb trees to avoid the heat and inspect their prey, according to Joshua Mabonga, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s coordinator for carnivore studies in Uganda. No matter how big or small the pest is, lions would climb trees to get away from it.
“Lions climb trees to escape pests, whether they’re as huge as an elephant or as small as a house fly,” said Craig Packer, who managed the Serengeti Lion Project.