Latest Sightings-Kruger shared an adorable video with us of a lion pride taking a dip in the Sand River, something the ranger hadn’t ever seen before…
MalaMala Game Reserve, Greater Kruger – We love sharing videos of lions doing funny or rare things. Like that time the male lion gave his lady a rude awakening and got a snot-klap in return, or the time the male lion got in the way of a kill and knocked his lady off her feet. These videos always leave us in awe.
According to Latest Sightings, lions tend to hate water, much like their domesticated counterparts and will avoid it whenever possible but these lions took advantage of a hot day to frolic in the Sand River that flows through the MalaMala Private Game Reserve located in the Greater Kruger.
Mike, the head ranger at the reserve was out on a drive when he came across a curious sighting. One of their lion prides, named the Charleston Pride, were having a day at the “beach”.
Mike shared his sighting with Latest Sightings saying,
“I had followed the lioness to a thicket where she called her cubs who were hidden. Once they came out, we followed them to the river where they lay down in the water, then moved on again to where she and two male lions had killed a buffalo. The next day I found the lions at the same carcass and the males also now in the water, where she joined them. The cubs were also running around in the area playing in the river.”
Mike confirmed that the lion pride regularly sits on the wet sand of the river bank, but he had never seen them wade in that deep.
“It was more surprising than anything. The Charleston Pride (these lions) are known to lay in shallow water, but I had never seen them as deep as this and evidently enjoying being cooled off. The cubs obviously thought this was completely normal and so just carried on. These are the only lions and indeed the only cats that I have ever seen in the wild just plop down in the river to cool off and have fun in the water.
The lions eventually moved off after they had finished their buffalo. I never saw them in the water like that again. The 2 Males (Charleston Males) later became quite well known and recognizable when one had a tooth knocked loose and hanging down like a saber-tooth cat for some time. The lioness and cubs moved into Kruger eventually.
It was a very rare sighting and I have never seen any other lions doing anything like it in 15 years of guiding, nor do I really expect to ever see it again.”
Mike thinks that this pride behaved so differently because it was a learned behaviour passed down from the last lioness in the pride.
“I have no idea why these lions don’t have a dislike to the water like most lions do. The only theory I have it that for some reason the lioness learned to do it and then passed it on to the 2 males (they were her nephews which she had raised after their mother was killed and she was the last lioness of her pride, the Charleston Pride), which she had raised, and then onto her cubs as well as they were growing up.
It was a behavior that they uniquely had, but even so, it was not common to see.”
Take a look at their day at the “beach” below. Our favourite part is when one of the cubs tries to play with a small bird passing its path. Have you ever seen a lion or lioness sitting in the depths of water like these? Let us know in the comment section.