Tales of Resilience: Lions Pride Overcomes Adversity by Seeking Refuge in Tree Canopies During Floods


A group of lions ascended a tree to avoid the waterlogged terrain caused by recent floods, and now spend their mornings perched like leopards.

The Vurhami Lion Pride is a distinguished group of lions residing in the Kruger National Park, which is renowned as one of South Africa’s most extensive and famous game reserves. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including several lion prides.

Wildlife enthusiasts have taken note of the Vurhami Lion Pride’s behavior, which is unique among cats as leopards are the only known tree-climbing felines. This trait of the Vurhami Pride is believed to have been passed down through generations, making it their distinct characteristic.

After passing through the entrance gate at Crocodile Bridge rest camp, we traveled down the tar road while scanning the open plains for cheetahs and other wildlife. Upon reaching the S28 junction and turning left, we were greeted by a pride of lions perched on a tree!

Initially, we mistook the sight of a large feline in a tree for a leopard. But on closer inspection, we were delighted to realize that it was the Vurhami tree-climbing lion pride. It was a long-awaited moment for us.

The reason behind the Vurhami Lion Pride’s tree-climbing behavior is not entirely clear, although experts suggest some plausible theories. One of these is that the hot and humid climate in the area may drive the lions to seek refuge in trees, providing some respite from the heat and allowing them to cool off.

Another possible explanation is that lions generally dislike water, and during the recent floods, climbing trees provided them with a safe haven away from the waterlogged ground. Whatever the reason, this unique behavior has certainly captured the attention and fascination of wildlife experts and enthusiasts alike.



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