Through out my guiding career a question that popped up so often was, do you help injured animals when you find them?
I will get to the answer to that question’s answer a bit later on.
The reason for me writing this blog is because both Gerry and I received load of comments on posts we put on Instagram of this particular male lion.
This lion is pretty famous on the various social media platforms. He is part of the Charelston coalition. This particular male and his brother call the Sabi Sand Game Reserve home and most of their territory is on the Sabi Sabi concession where I used to guide for three years and this is where Gerry and the rest of the Wild Eye team photographed him during the Photographic Seminar we host there.
I wont be going into detail as to what happened to him and how he has adapted because I wrote a blog on this particular male lion and his brother a while back called “Sabi Sabi’s Famous Lion”. This blog will tell you everything you wish to know about this lion, so if you have not read it yet, go check it out!
Gerry’s Instagram “comments bomb” started when he posted this particular image he posted at the end of last year.
He then posted another image of this lion not too long ago and if you would like to go see the comments he received on it, go check out his Instagram feed.
After all the interaction he then decided to discuss this topic on his Wildlife Photography Podcast that he recently started. If you are keen to hear what he has to say about this lion and explain other scenarios he knows of, go check out episode 8.
This is the image I posted that lead to yet another explosion of comments.
I answered every single person who commented on this image; if this would be of interest to you, go check out my Instagram feed.
If you go read the comments on either my or Gerry’s images you will notice most of them are people asking why we don’t help him?
Its not that we do not want to, it’s because we just shouldn’t interfere with the course of nature.
In the “Famous Lion Blog” you will see that this cat is still perfectly fine and is doing everything an adult male lion does on a daily basis. I personally saw him live his life looking the way he does for over a year and he is a machine of a lion!
Getting to the point and answering that question I mentioned in the beginning;
It is just not sustainable if we, as humans, get involved helping injured animals like this. Reason being is that if we interfere with the natural processes we get in the way of natural selection.
“Natural selection- the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring.”
In basic terms, natural selection means that the weaker individuals who cannot adapt to any form of change die off naturally. This will ensure that only the best/strongest genes stay in the gene pool.
Survival of the fittest many would say!
It is a rough circle of life out there and yes I agree that it is VERY sad to come across a weak, injured or dying animal and its not that I don’t want to help because I wish I could!
That dying animal is the weaker individual and sadly losing the fight, BUT and this is a positive BUT, that animal then becomes food for lion, leopard, hyena, jackal, vultures and and and. This means its one (of many) purpose of life was achieved; to fuel others to ensure their survival.
One thing you need to remember, the area this cat and any other injured or weak animals live like in the Sabi Sands, Timbavati, Kruger National Park and so on, these areas are big enough for the ecosystem to balance out naturally and humans do not have to get involved.
In smaller fenced off areas like Madikwe for example, management by humans is a need because if they don’t, the animals will destroy their own environment and this will have a negative impact on their future.
Getting back to the star of the blog, what happened to that male lion happened naturally.
The way I see it is what ever happens naturally happens for a reason and we should not get involved.
Lions are programed to be a tough, fearless warriors and a floppy tooth does not mean anything to him. It now just forms part of his life’s story.
If an animal is injured due to human influence I would and they do then do help that animal because this was not the way nature wanted things to unfold.
Take a snare around a leopard’s neck for example, this animal will be darted, the snare will be removed and the wound will be treated.
Why only then you may ask?
The reason for this is because this cat was not “chosen” to die by Mother Nature if I may. We as humans would never know but this cat could have the strongest genes in the area, therefore its meant to live or it could have the weakest genes and should pass on. We should then do our best to get that animal freed of the snare and then let Mother Nature make the final choice.
Always remembering to only get involved to the point that it remains sustainable to ensure that all will run smoothly in the future.
I hope this blog answers all the questions you may have had.
Untill next time,
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