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Sighting of the Quarter


"I've seen lions in trees before" reports Pierre after his recent visit to Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania, "I've seen tree-climbing lions in the Serengeti as well as the Busanga Plains in Zambia'a Kafue National Park, but never with this much panache - these lions actually looked comfortable!"





Unlike its feline cousin the leopard, the African lion does not take naturally to trees. Lions are significantly larger than leopards, making them less agile and more cautious about subjecting themselves to gravitational forces. Lion cubs are quite often seen playing around in low trees and bushes, but mature lions rarely venture off the ground. 



Nobody knows what causes adult lions in some areas to climb trees, but theories suggest that it could provide a vantage point for spotting prey, as well as relief from heat and biting insects. There is strong evidence to suggest that it is a learned behavior, passed on through generations. "As I enjoyed the unique perspective of having these giant cats dangling overhead, I couldn't help but think about children's stories of firemen rescuing cats from trees - and rejoice in my brief sojourn from that sanitized world!"


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