I do love the lions!
When I traveled to Africa for the first time, I thought that I would tick off the animals in the mammals book as I saw them and that would be it.
Been there, done that, seen it.
(That was in short how the whole Africa experience was supposed to be. I never meant to stay here, for crying out loud! I was just going to do some fieldwork and get on with life.)
Apparently, it doesn’t work like that. Not for me, anyway.
A student and I was sitting watching a pride of lions in Etosha national park some months ago. She asked me how many lions I thought I had seen up to now.
Since we were anyway sitting there, watching cats, I tried to count. I stopped when I got to 300.
I’ve seen prides come and go. I’ve watched how old males have lost the battle and his pride to cheeky youngsters. I’ve seen tiny, meowing cubs grow into large predators with paws the size of a dinner plates and teeth the size of my thumb. And with a roar that can be heard many kilometers away. Where did the cute furry pet go, I wonder, when I hunch next to a sleeping beauty, doing measures and taking notes, while the smell of rotten meat and cat pee tickle my nose.
Don’t you get sick and tired of them? the student asked. And the simple answer is: No.
And to think that I used to be a dog person.