Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Don't Tempt A Feisty Lion

How often do you wonder, "Just what was he/she thinking?"

I thought this recently when I was on vacation and speeding motorcyclists were dodging in and out of highway lanes where I was traveling in a car.  Does the motorcyclist simply not think to himself, "Well, let me see, maybe I should be careful because the very slightest unexpected movement by a car or myself could result in an accident and untold deaths." I guess it's called feeling "bullet proof". I might venture out a little and call it irresponsible behavior. What were they thinking?

Then, today I read that on Monday, June 1st, a 22 year old young woman was killed by a lion as she and a friend rode in a car through a privately run lion park near Johannesburg, Africa. The car windows were rolled completely down. I repeat: The car windows were rolled completely down, in spite of very clear park warnings to always keep windows rolled up. What was she thinking?

The woman was photographing the lion, and the lion lunged. As tempting as it is to take once-in-a-lifetime photos, don't tempt a feisty lion! I would be tempted to get that great photo. But, I would not be tempted to be eaten by the lion. My sympathy is indeed with her family. What a tragedy!

I see similar risk-takers when I travel. Once, when my husband and I were at Yellowstone National Park, the buffaloes were slowly ambling around the property minding their own business looking very friendly and innocent. A daring tourist with a camera got a little too close to a couple of buffalo, and it's a good thing the tourist had on his running shoes because the buffalo prepared to pursue! What was that tourist thinking? Don't be fooled by those slow moving buffalo. It's a trick.

Another time as we drove through Wyoming, we saw a line of cars stopped on both sides of the road, cameras and tourists everywhere.. The focus of their attention was a very large moose walking across the plain about a quarter of a mile away. The moose wanted to cross the highway, but as he continued his plodding journey, some eager tourists got very close and in his path. What were they thinking?

The moose let them know very fast that he would not take their interference lightly. A moose will not think twice about trampling you to your death.  It's the same in Alaska. Stay out of their way.

I love adventure, travel, and I'm not shy about stepping out there and taking a chance. I do try my best to avoid feisty lions.

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