Facts About the Tree Climbing Lion of Tanzania : Those who have never witnessed this odd behavior might find it strange that the term “tree climbing lions” is being used. Even seasoned experts in animal behavior concur that climbing trees and perching on branches is not an evolutionary adaptation for lions. While seeing a leopard dozing off in the jungle during Tanzania safari tour is typical, this peculiar behavior displayed by lions has drawn attention and curiosity.
Places that you can see the tree climbing lions
There are just few known populations of tree climbing lions on the planet, proving how uncommon this occurrence is.
Southern Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park are home to the first great population of the rare tree-climbing lions. Another Tanzania safari place where you can see the tree climbing lions is in Serengeti national park. On your safari in Tanzania you may get the opportunity to observe this amazing tree climbing lions resting on top of tree branches.
Also in the western Ugandan town of Ishasha, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to another such pack of rebellious lions. Even in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, lions have been seen scaling trees.
Reasons why tree-climbing lions are only seldom found in certain locations
Lions that can climb trees are rarely seen. They are common in these areas for two key reasons. One is the availability of “appropriate” trees, or trees with strong, wide trunks and branches that can withstand the weight and size of the lions. For instance, big acacias and fig trees. The second component is behavioral learning. Younger lions observe adult lions climbing trees and imitate them, leading to the development of the behavior in that pride. And just like with any skill, their proficiency and confidence increase as they practice.
Although lions are not physiologically suited to climbing trees, these different groups have developed this skill over time and have been able to pass it along to their offspring, providing a superb example of learnt behavior as opposed to inherent inclination. It takes a lot of strength to carry a lion’s body up such steep slopes considering their weight ranges from 250 to 400 pounds.
For elderly lions in particular, climbing trees successfully requires some effort, regular practice, and exceptional arboreal expertise. Fortunately, just like any difficult skill, these lions get better at climbing trees as they practice.
Tree-climbing lions’ motivations
For instance, in Lake Manyara National Park, tree climbing lions can be seen perched on the limbs of enormous fig trees, keeping watch over a herd of calmly grazing antelopes, gazelles, and impalas. These herbivores are the lions’ primary prey because they adore trees. These lions climb a variety of trees, including candelabras, acacia trees, and sycamore trees. The lions can find refuge in these trees throughout the dry and wet seasons, respectively.
It’s also thought that lions climb trees as a behavioral adaptation to shield themselves from the continual stinging of insects while relaxing beneath trees. According to some experts on animal behavior, lions from Tarangire national park and Lake Manyara national park have mastered the technique of climbing trees to escape the oppressive heat on the ground. They can then recover with a nice breeze and take a comfortable snooze without having to worry about what’s going on below. However, one thing is certain: these lions climb the trees, whether to acquire a panoramic view of the surrounding escarpments or to avoid being irritated by insects on the ground like tsetse flies.
If you’re fortunate, you might witness the extraordinary spectacle of a tree climbing lion cautiously and tenderly circling a tree branch before leaping to the earth. In stark contrast to the immaculate agility and fluidity that a leopard’s movements convey, it exhibits an uncomfortable, almost unnatural hesitance, Facts About the Tree Climbing Lion of Tanzania
Not what they eat or how their social structures are set up intrigue people about the tree-climbing lions, but rather how they differ from other lions. All other wild lions have the same social, physical, nutritional, and repopulation characteristics with them. The theories of why they ascend the tree are not entirely supported (as earlier stated). This is due to the obvious reality that lions are deadly, and the only research you can conduct safely involves observation. However, tree-climbing lions are an amazing sight to behold since they can easily and gracefully lift their massive bodies up the tree.
Being able to see the tree-climbing lions in Tanzania safari tours adds so much to a visitor’s experience of Manyara national park, Tarangire national park and Serengeti national park.
Furthermore, from these Tanzania safari locations (Tarangire national park, Lake Manyara national park and Serengeti national park), you may get a great view of how the prey moves as it crosses the plains in search of water and grazing spots. We strongly advise taking the time to enjoy the event in person since it is fantastic.