Post Cards

Notes from across the pond

South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park is not seeing much traffic these days, and the park’s inhabitants are taking advantage of the peace and quiet.

Roads, once lined with cars, are empty, with the exception of park rangers, like Richard Sowry, who got this photo. This pride of lions could not pass up an opportunity for a late afternoon nap before venturing out for an evening’s activities.

Sowry was out on patrol on Wednesday when he snapped a pride sleeping on a road which would normally be busy with tourists. But Kruger, like other wildlife parks, has been shut since 25 March as part of the corona virus lock down.

While driving near Orpen Rest Camp, he spotted the lions on the road ahead and pulled up just five yards to look at the unusual phenomenon. As he took photos with his mobile phone, the lions did not seem bothered, most of them apparently fast asleep.

“Lions are used to people in vehicles,” he explained. “All animals have much more of an instinctive fear of people on foot, so if I had walked up they would never have allowed me to get so close.” The oldest lioness in the pride is about 14, “which is very old for a lioness,” so they are used to seeing vehicles.

Normally Mr Sowry would only see lions sleeping on the park’s roads on colder nights in the winter, when the tar retains quite a lot of heat. But rain the previous day left the area wet, and lions prefer to be dry.

That and the freedom to nap on a road less traveled.

Source: BBC News