Fat Lions

17th September 2012
At Christmas-time, people often over-eat and then lie on the sofa and vow never to eat so much again. So too in the natural world: Lions gorge themselves and then lie around in apparent discomfort while their gut system attempts to deal with the onslaught.

Yesterday, we found 3 lionesses lying on the sand at the edge of the river with enormously large stomachs. When one lioness got up to drink, we saw the extent of her gluttony....her belly was dragging on the ground when she crouched to lap at the muddy water.

After a while, she began to walk towards us and then collapsed against a sand bar to continue dozing.

Lions can consume a staggering 35kgs of meat in a sitting, which of course is far more than they need at any one time (this much meat would sustain a lion for 2-3 days when it would need to hunt again). But with scavengers such as hyaenas and vultures, plus the competition for food within the pride, the only safe place to keep your share is in your stomach!

So when you are feeling sorry for yourself after Christmas lunch 2012, spare a thought for lions across Africa who deal with that same feeling twice a week!

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