Sand Rivers

Tree’s Company

25 February 2011

Lions very rarely climb trees. And in the few places where they do, it's assumed that the reasons for doing so are fairly humdrum - to escape biting tsetse flies, or just to catch a cooling breeze.

But there's likely to be a whole lot more behind this Selous lioness's decision to climb this particular tree recently...

John and Juliet Hayward were out on a drive when they came across a pair of "honeymoon" lions, all lovey-dovey in the shade of a Tagalala tree. Then they noticed that the happy couple was not entirely alone - way above their heads was an older lioness, perched high up in the tree.

The old lady clearly wasn't comfortable, and moved about from one side of the tree to the other. Whether her discomfort was caused by the goings-on below, or by the unfamiliar vantage point, there was no way to tell.

The young lovers didn't seem at all aware of the lioness above, and if they were, it certainly never affected their ardour.

We had some fun discussing the different possible scenarios -was she lookout, voyeur, chaperone, or outraged spinster aunt? But judging by the ragged look of her - and what looks like an eye injury - there is surely a lot more drama behind this story. We'll just never know.

Follow us