Sunday, March 17, 2013

...and then the lions charged!

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While visiting Antelope Park in Gweru, Zimbabwe, I hung out with these beautiful lions.

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I was soooo relieved these were not the lions I walked with because there's no way I would gotten close to these guys.
Or, more correctly: any closer to these guys than I already was...and this was definitely testing my comfort level.

Especially since our introduction to them was them CHARGING to get food placed in front of us, separated by only a thin chain-link fence.
There may have been some silent holy [insert whatever you use after this, we'll be PG] moley, crap...
Check out the charge:

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It was very clear immediately who the dominate male was as he guarded the food viciously and the
other lions circled, waiting for a chance to get some food.

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I can tell you, the food did not smell remotely good.

Here's the second charge (actually the first one I witnessed)--- you can see I involuntarily move backward as they charge and someone exclaims in amazement; you literally feel your heart drop to your toes and understand immediately the fear these beasts create in everyone and everything:

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Isn't this tail just beautiful?
Glad I noticed it so I didn't accidentally step on it; I imagine that would not have gone over well with the lion 
and I don't think that chain link fence would have done very much to protect me.

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Beautiful, just beautiful.

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Even with the terror they invoke in their speed, power, and size, it is so easy to be spell bound by their beauty.

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This male lion was dominate for an extended period, fighting off anyone who came near.

Here's one of his fights then the subsequent grunting (attempted roaring?):

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