Photo ©Ian Glendinning

THE LION

The king of the savanna

Lions have a highly developed social structure within their pride. A pride normally consists of three to six lionesses, two male lions and several cubs and juveniles.

A t times the male lions leave the pride to roam about on their own for some time, so that one often encounters lionesses without males. Lions’ prey consists primarily of large ungulates, such as zebra and wildebeest. Lion are not at all exclusively nocturnal. When hungry, they still move about until late in the morning.

In Namibia lions can be hunted on farms bordering Etosha National Park, as well as in the northern concession areas. Areas with good lion populations are those bordering the Khaudum Game Park, parts of the Caprivi and the north-western regions.

Lions frequently move into the farming areas to the north of Kamanjab. To track down a lion is not as difficult as one might imagine. They can be located by their nightly roaring, and their spoor can be picked up at waterholes and around kills. To look for spoor on game paths or roads is also rewarding, as lions like to move along unobstructed pathways.

A large calibre of minimum .375 should be used, and tough soft-nosed bullets to ensure good penetration even from unfavourable angles.

So-called ‘lion load’ bullets should be used cautiously. The soft bullets do not have enough penetration, especially with end-on shots.

In the case of a charge, specifically, a shot will have no stopping effect if the brain or spine is not hit. With a charging lion, the head often prevents the hunter aiming for the chest or shoulder. If the brain is missed, and only the jawbone, nose or cheekbone is hit, it is necessary for the bullet to penetrate the head and  then the heart and lung region. Lion-load bullets, propagated as stoppers, are certainly debatable.

LION

Panthera leo


 

Shoulder Height:  90 cm – 110 cm
Mass:  Male: 150 kg – 205 kg | Female: 100 kg
Diet:  Medium-sized to big ungulates, carrion
Gestation period:  3½ months (4-6 cubs)
Life expectancy:
 20 years
World record:
 73.02 cm, South Africa

LION TRACK

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