Saturday, July 2, 2011


A couple of months ago, when the lion cubs were smaller, they evinced a fascination in, and fear of, the moat of water surrounding their enclosure. They would watch their parents drink, would even drink themselves—but there always seemed to be an element of uncertainty or discomfort involved.

One day, one of their mothers became captivated by the desire to play with (or at least acquire) a big, hollow-plastic ball; unfortunately, this ball was floating tauntingly in the moat, at a distance that—she discovered after much effort—was just out of reach.

If I was entertained by this demonstration of grimly determined frivolity on the part of the lioness, you can imagine how much more surprised and interested her offspring were in her behavior.

They alternated between watching her efforts with great interest…

And watching the water with great suspicion.

Eventually, the lioness gave up and lay down with the unruffled dignity of a sphinx; looking at her, you’d never know that mere moments ago she had been batting excitedly at the air.

I’m not sure what impression the incident made on the cubs, but I doubt it was a lasting one; their focus soon shifted to other things.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}

1 comment:

Anca said...

A lovely summer's day post.

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