Lion around

OK, we might be in Africa, but (generally) lions don’t roam the city streets. If I said that they did, I’d be… Well, I’d not be telling the truth.

Once again, I’m blogging from the stands at the local indoor trampoline park, but after a crappy week of feeling crappy, I’d rather be chilling in front of the football. This guy, from our Shamwari trip last April, has got the right idea.

But parental duties call.

The trampoline park is pretty much empty – most kids being in the middle of exams at the moment. The boy has worked hard this weekend, and is letting off some steam.

The DJ is taking advantage of the large, near-empty arena to injure those who have turned up with a Cuban/Carribean mix pumped out at 130dB. I’m no expert, but I think that Sean Paul may be “in da house (baby girl)”. (OK, I’m cheating: he’s told us he’s “in da house (baby girl)” several times already.)

It’s basically an offensive aural assault and I wish I was lion at home.

Found another video

Belatedly, I’ve found another video from our recent trip to Sanbona – must have overlooked it on the SD card when I was downloading stuff last week.

I have no idea what has happened to this video.
I came here in May 2018 and it was gone. It's not even on Youtube anymore.

These are the three female (tawny) lionesses on the reserve. There are probably cubs around and that’s why they are a bit feisty at the moment. Our ranger said it’s not unusual for there to be brief tussles like this, but it’s rare that any serious damage is done.

It might not be unusual for him to see this, but it was certainly a first for me.

The Lion, The Bitch and The Ecophobe

Amazingly, it seems that environment-hating columnist Ivo Vegter has found another way to make himself even more unpopular with the local bunnyhugging population. Not content with regularly using rational argument and solid proven facts in his support of fracking, he’s now only gone and said that we should all be killing lions like Melissa Bachman. Or something.

In truth of course, Ivo’s piece is actually about the lack of considered thought by the general public and some of our local journalists, who – amazingly (I know, I was shocked as well) – also spouted incorrect facts in pursuit of getting their desperate agenda across.

Emotive outrage and smug judgmentalism are no substitute for rational thought and pragmatic policy.

Absolutely, but then as I once said, internet environMENTAList warriors and slacktivists rarely seem to do any sort of research before making up their minds about what we should think on emotive issues:

Dolphin, panda, puppy – must protect.
It’s a trendy, ill-thought through, kneejerk, bandwagon-jumping response.

And following the whole Bachman “controversy”, it seems that we can add lions to that list as well (but not fruit flies, obviously). Because, as Ivo points out and as anyone else could also know if they’d bothered to do any research whatsoever, what Bachman did was perfectly legal and is quietly done by loads of other people visiting South Africa every single year, swelling our economy to the tune of R6.2 billion.

Sure, you might find it distasteful. Sure, it might not be for you (it’s not for me either, incidentally), but actually, that doesn’t make it unacceptable, illegal or mean that it must be banned. Neither does it mean that Bachman should be barred from entering South Africa again. Do you have any idea how utterly ridiculous this sort of petition sounds when you actually look at the facts?

You entered a country completely legally, supported a well-established, thriving and important local industry and did absolutely nothing illegal and yet we want you to be banned from ever going back.

Idiots, one and all.

And then it should be noted that the vast majority of the signatories aren’t even from South Africa. Since when should any foreigner have any say in who we let across our borders?
Because you all moaned and online-petitioned when China allegedly flexed its political muscle over the Dalai Lama, now didn’t you? And yet you’re more than happy for some easily-led Aussie schoolkid or a bored housefrau from Bremen to decide on a rather selective future immigration policy for the Republic of South Africa?

Have these people even read what they’re signing?

Yes, I’m sure all of them read this bit:

Her latest Facebook post features her with a lion she has just executed and murdered in our country.

Yes, not content with executing the lion, she also murdered it as well. And yes, I’m prepared to agree that this is a bit over the top. Still, at least she didn’t kill it as well.

But I’m more interested in this line:

As tax payers [sic] we demand she no longer be granted access to this country and its natural resources.

Hang on, over 100,000 of you aren’t tax payers [sic] of “this country”. And yet you think that you have a right to influence our country’s laws? Get real.

But back to the hunting thing. The fact is that hunting is completely legal in South Africa and that’s a good thing for the local wildlife, because case studies have shown that countries where hunting has been banned often suffer huge problems with poaching:

The notion that hunting harms the survival of species, or the environment more generally, happens to be false, and demonstrably so.

Commenting on Botswana’s recent decision to ban professional hunting in the hope that it would stop poaching, Professor Melville Saayman of the North-West University observed: “…the problem is that it is going to have a reversed effect.
Kenya followed the same path. They also banned hunting and currently have a huge game poaching problem, so much so that some of their species face total extinction.”

Maybe we should ban hunting and then re-run the old tearful Bokkie “LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE” posters for the greenies as the local ecosystems and game park industries collapse.

Happy Days.

I’m not lion

Following up on last week’s incursions of hippo into swimming pools in Limpopo and just generally into Cape Town, Essex over in the UK decided not to be outdone and has allegedly got a lion on the loose.
As Sky News reports:

The sighting is believed to be genuine after experts at Colchester Zoo viewed a photograph of the ‘lion’ taken by a local.

But quote of the moment has to go to Che Kevlin:

Che Kevlin said he heard what he believed to be a roar whilst out walking his dog on Sunday night.
“It sounded like the roar of a lion. We have a field and wood just behind our fence, so you never know.”

I didn’t hear many roars when I lived in the UK, but when I did, I automatically assumed that there was a lion in the field and wood behind my house.

Authorities are asking Essex residents to check their swimming pools for the presence of African wildlife and also to report any suddenly missing pets.

UPDATE: As Essex Police call off the search for the “lion”

The numerous sightings were probably of a ‘large domestic cat’

There are a couple of people who disagree. Vehemently.

Rich Baker, 39, was walking with his two boys, aged nine and 11 when the drama unfolded.
He said: ‘A man started running towards us yelling “It’s a f****** lion!”
He looked so panicked you knew it was not a joke. The lion you could see it from the side.

“It was one million per cent a lion. It was a tan colour with a big mane, it was fully grown, it was definitely a lion. It was just standing there, it seemed to be enjoying itself.”

Hang on, what?

“It seemed to be enjoying itself”?

How did you work that out, Rich? Was it smiling then? Or doing that kind of smug grin thing that fully grown lions do when they’re just standing there enjoying themselves? Are you really some sort of  veterinary psychologist or were you just passing idle comment about the lion’s emotional state?

The Daily Mail (sorry) article also quotes ‘Mrs Wright, a housewife and a mother of three, from Dagenham, Essex’:

The moment I saw it, straight away I said ‘That looks like a lioness”

Which is interesting, as lionesses obviously don’t have manes; not like the beast Rich Baker saw.

All of which leads me to believe that there may be two large domestic cats currently roaming Essex and terrifying the local population.

Lock up your mice, people…