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"/>Lessons Learned in the African Bush - Post #1 - Ann McMaster M.A., L.P.C.


Lessons Learned in the African Bush – Post #1

Scene: Kruger National Park, South Africa, night drive through the park in a game-viewing/open-sided vehicle, 20 passengers, 1 Park Ranger/Driver/Tour Guide

Picture 5 spotlights focused on the spectacle of the night – 2 huge male lions (brothers) in their prime, who “own” this part of the park, chowing down on a good-sized giraffe that had been killed previously by 6 two-year-old lions (cousins) from another part of the country.

Having scattered the 6 cousins, the 2 brothers roared during the night, proclaiming the meal that was now theirs. They had been gorging for the last 36 hours when we saw them, still a lot of giraffe left. Their stomachs were already hanging low, almost to the ground … still alert, guarding their claim. No dispute from anyone.

Waiting on the fringes, the 6 cousin lions, some hyenas, wild dogs and jackals, and vultures high in a tree for the final cleaning of the bones.

Life lesson #1 – there’s a basic corollary between life in the bush and the “civilized” world.

Life lesson #2: Life just ain’t fair. The 6 young lions killed the giraffe. As soon as the 2 adult male lions heard, they returned from patrolling “their territory” and snatched the kill from the 6 who had learned how to kill giraffes from their mothers, and who had worked hard to earn their meal, only to be robbed by the “big guys.”

And then there’s the giraffe. Enough said.

PS . Another “unfair” fact – lions sleep 20-22 hours a day.

8 Responses

  1. Avatar

    Right! We can complain all we want but those big guys aren’t going to see it our way. And they’re “just animals” with hungry bellies having to wait for the leftovers of what seems rightfully theirs. But what if it were humans? Is it, that’s just the way it is? Cuz we aren’t changing animal instincts. Do we think we can (or ought to) change human behavior that looks like this?

    Sounds like an amazing experience nonetheless!

    1. Ann Mc

      It is what MTL is about – honoring, loving, respecting each other. What makes it easy for us to revert to predator energy or even just plain ol everyday unkind behavior is when we haven’t taken care of our own hunger, sleep, peace of mind/heart, etc.

  2. Avatar
    Geert van de Vorstenbosch

    Giraffes also sleep about 22 hours a day so a chance meeting of prey and predator results in the circle of life continuing.

    On another note: I invite you to explore what you find “unfair”?

    1. Ann Mc

      The “unfair” was tongue-in-cheek. Like Ellen said, what normal, healthy person would even want to sleep 20-22 hours per day. There’s way too much to see and hear and smell and taste and touch …. LOL

  3. Avatar
    Susan Woodhouse

    After just returning from Africa and being on safari myself I am still feeling in awe of how it all works in the bush. The complexities of animal world and knowing we are really a part of that also. Just another animal surviving our environment just as they are. A humbling experience all round. love your lion photo, what a handsome creature he is.

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