We have many felids today, and a damn duck as well—with two photos (including the duck) taken by Professor Ceiling Cat. Most of the cat photos, lions (Panthera leo) come from reader Bob Lundgren:
Attached are some photos of lions from my trip to Tanzania in January. The first two photos are a front and rear view of tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park. There were six lions in the tree that we could see. We were told there had been at least eight before we got there.
The lion in the third photo has apparently just returned from his mane stylist. Quite rakish in my opinion. He was hanging out in an place called the Ngorogoro Conservation Area.
The fourth and fifth photos are of lions hanging out on rock outcroppings called “kopjes” in Serengeti National Park.
The sixth and seventh photos are from an area my wife and I called the sex den, also in Serengeti National Park. There were several pairs of lions here, all in an amorous mood.The lion in the background of the sixth photo is the same lion seen in the seventh photo. That lion and his partner had an intimate interlude about five minutes after the photo was taken.
The last two photos were taken in Ngorongoro Crater (actually a caldera, but popular terminology is difficult to overcome). This was the end of a lion feast of cape buffalo. We counted twenty-three lions on this kill. The males had first dibs and were digesting in the road oblivious to the vehicles. They weren’t moving for “nobody” – except for one that decided to go down the line of vehicles and mark each one. Our guide was keeping count and told us we saw 102 lions in nine days. We were happy.
And a Lonely Puma (cougar; Puma concolor). It was a beautiful cat, but also paced back in forth in its cage: one of the reasons I have really mixed feelings about zoos. In fact, my dislike of seeing free-roaming animals caged like this is making me go to zoos less often, though of course as a biologist I am delighted to see live animals. Cougars are not endangered and so should not be caged, especially alone and even more especially in a small enclosure. The lions of the Serengeti are much better off.