Check Out These Two Lion Cubs Trying To Make A Meal Of A Tortoise
Kgaladi Transfrontier Park in Southern Africa has some of the toughest and most ferocious lions on the continent, but it would seem they are no where near as tough as a lone tortoise. If you check out this video of two young lions having a go, the pair were simply unable to overcome the tortoise’s tough exterior despite their sharp canines and claws. The young lions spotted the passing tortoise after the adult members of the pride were sleeping following a kill and the temptation proved to be too irresistible to resist.
Curiosity didn’t kill the cat!
Experts put the age of the lions at about 18 months making them large cubs, and whilst they do tend to be opportunistic when it comes to hunting, the attempt at the tortoise was probably more a case of curiosity rather than an attempt to kill the thing. They seem to be more interested in taunting and playing with what appears to be an older tortoise with a shell that is able to withstand the attack. Tortoises are small so really, they aren’t likely to be as typical lion prey though hungry lions have been known to crush open younger tortoises with softer shells.
Lions are important for their local ecosystems
Lions play a critical role in the ecosystem though we are sure this tortoise is would disagree. The species directly impacts the number of prey and smaller predators in the areas they roam. Despite their importance, the big cats are in danger. Whilst lions are an iconic species revered the world over, few really understand the gravity of the threat the lions of Africa face. A century ago, there were 200,000 lions in Africa and now the number stands at about 20,000. Their decline is the product of hunting, human conflict and habitat destruction though if parks are well managed there is hope yet for the species.