Wednesday 10 August 2016 | 2

The world according to the lions

The world according to the lions

Mis à jour le 05 March 2018

In the savannah, a little lion cub is born. She discovers who her family are and learns what life will hold for her and her siblings. Through her eyes, discover the world according to the lions.

Hr blog

Birth in the savannah

The first time she opened her eyes, ten days after her birth, the little freckled lion cub with big furry paws took in an immense plain, covered with tall plants all the way into the distance and interspersed with solitary acacia trees. The rains had stopped. On this morning, the savannah was lush and green with the mountains on the horizon floating in the fog to the murmuring sound of a thousand birdsongs. By the waterhole, with their heads down, gazelles and zebras were drinking the brown water in long gulps. Giraffes were strolling further away, and even further in the distance a herd of elephants could be seen. It was a beautiful season to be born.

Learn to hide

Sometimes she stayed with her sister and two brothers all day long on their own whilst their mother went hunting. Hidden in a high up thicket on a small hilltop, the four lion cubs remained motionless and silent, listening out for the slightest noise. Cackling hyenas passed by menacingly, as well as herds of buffalos with their killer hooves, whilst the cubs flattened their bodies against the ground with caution. Finally in the evening a low rumble indicated the lioness's return, her catch in her mouth. The children threw themselves at her to suckle and to taste meat for the first time.

Sociable big cats

Today, the little lion cub is a few months older. Her coat has lost its baby freckles. She returns to the group where her mother is lying in the shade. Other females welcome her, licking her with their enormous rough tongues. The four lion cubs play with the other children of their age. They roll in the dust together, growling like big cats. When they are hungry, they can suckle on any nursing lioness in the group, who nurture and protect them. When the play becomes too violent, or the snarling too loud, their mother quickly reminds them with a growl and a telling look, warning them. The three dark maned giants lying under the baobab tree must not be bothered.

The fight of the lion kings

They are brothers in fact; young and strong. They arrived here as a foursome, some seasons ago, before the little lion was born. One of them died in a fight during the conquest, and the old males where chased away from their territory. The conqueror is almost certainly her father, the one with the loudest roar as he reaches up to the skyline in an enormous bellow, his sides hollowing, his chest held high. When he roars with his mouth open wide, fangs shining, in front of the dark red sun, the little lion cub feels her bones vibrate and lets out a purr. Close by, her brothers try to imitate the big male with ridiculous meows.

She likes to hear her father, he is her protector. He emerges when things go wrong, or when the prey is too large for the female pack. He saunters around the besotted lionesses when they seduce him and his two lieutenants, arching their backs. When they are present, there is no fear of hyena attacks or angry elephants.

Errant knights

The little lion cub observes her young brothers, whose manes haven't yet grown. One day, they too will leave and fight for the command of their own group. Little by little, their mother will refuse to feed them, and their father will roar directly in their faces and lash out at them with his paws. They will leave with bowed heads and flicking tails. Her two brothers will depart on this adventure, joined perhaps by another youngster; a childhood friend or an errant male. They will fight over carrions with the jackals, before crossing the frontier of a new territory. They will encounter the dominant male and his coalition. If they beat him following a fierce fight, they will have to kill all of the lion cubs. This is an obligatory task to ensure the lineage but one which the mothers oppose to with rage, sometimes successfully.

The wisdom of lionesses

The little lioness, for her part, will remain with her mother in the group for the rest of her life. They will stay together unless circumstances force them to leave their home, like fire, illness, famine, or hunters.

As for her father, the superb lion who roars tonight, one day he will lose his throne. Other younger and more powerful male will arrive and replace him. When she comes of age, the young lioness will be courted by a new bold and arrogant lover.

She turns her big orange eyes to her mother: so beautiful in her faun attire! Her body is muscular, wiry and strong. And in her mind she possesses a web of attack strategies learnt from her elders before her, which in turn she will hand down to her own children.

Tonight, she will take her three older daughters with the pack in an expedition to the North. The lioness envies her older sisters, but she is much too small to join in on these difficult hunts, which are dangerous and often fail. These hunts seem cruel but are a necessary task to prevent the cute lion cubs dying of hunger.

Lying in wait and other strategies

The lionesses are constantly inventing strategies. They coordinate subtle running and relay tactics, but also more complex techniques of lying in wait having first considered the wind direction, the sun's position, the speed that the game can run and the presumed path that the fleeing prey will take, having sometimes observed them for weeks on long displacements.

The males participate little in the collective hunts, except when it means finishing off a buffalo or an elephant. They prefer to eat on their own in the evening, and are the first to help themselves to the feasts brought home by the lionesses. Lions have short lives, fourteen to twenty years at most. But the know-how handed down from one generation to another is essential for everyone's survival.

This evening, the little lion cub has heavy eyes. She has played so much and learnt so many things today! She falls asleep in the sand under the shade of a termite nest, with the other children. Sleep quickly takes hold, and marvellous dreams with it….

What does a little lion cub dream about? Like all felines, she dreams a lot, undoubtedly of a peaceful savannah, filled with zebras and wildebeest, and intelligent and well fed babies. She dreams of victorious companions and successful hunts and of the happy savannah world that her ancestors have known and that she would also like to know, unchanged forever…

Yvon Godefroid
Hr blog

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Comments 2

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FaairyTail | Tuesday 04 October 2016

Je trouve vraiment honteux ce que fait l'être humain ! C'est vrai, dans la loi on dit qu'on doit se respecter les uns des autres mais et les animaux alors ?! Sauvages ou pas il faut les préserver et là franchement on est mal partis. Égoïste, l'homme est vraiment le pire animal sur terre. Il faut que ça cesse !!! Pff.. espérons que le monde aille mieux. Surtout que les animaux sont venus sur terre avant nous.

wettlé | Wednesday 10 August 2016

Vraiment très touchant, émouvant et bouleversant et en lisant tout ce texte il en ressort une fois de plus que ces magnifiques et fabuleux animaux sauvages ne doivent vivre qu'en liberté dans leur environnement naturel ou l'équivalent dans de grandes réserves ou sanctuaires et non emprisonnés, enfermés, exploités et utilisés par certains humains pour être ridiculisés, humiliés, rabaissés et irrespectés. Tous ces animaux sauvages ont une intelligence très développée et une sensibilité indéniable. Toujours les mêmes questions qui se posent : comment peut-on exploiter, torturer et maltraiter ces animaux puissants au sens propre et figuré, comment peut-on vouloir les chasser, les traquer, les tuer...?
Et les réponses sont toujours les mêmes : ce ne sont que des individus complètement vides, insensibles, sans aucune morale, aucun respect de la vie, aucun respect des valeurs, aucun respect des animaux quels qu'ils soient. Ce sont des individus qui n'appartiennent pas à la race des humains tout simplement. Tous ces animaux sauvages doivent faire l'objet d'une loi catégorique, ferme et définitive pour les défendre, les protéger et condamner très lourdement, de la peine maximale, toutes les chasses et tueries de ces animaux afin qu'ils puissent vivre en paix et en toute liberté sur leur propre territoire. Et en prenant connaissance et conscience de la vie de tous ces admirables animaux, nous nous rendons compte à quel point l'humain n'est en rien "supérieur" à eux mais aussi à quel point l'humain est tombé bien bas, plus que bas et n'a plus aucune valeur ni grandeur comparé à l'ensemble de ces animaux.