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Into The Light By Robert Bateman

By Robert Bateman

It is early morning in the Ngoro Ngoro Crater. Although this is Africa, the high elevation brings very cold nights and misty mornings. The solitary lion is plodding his way slowly through the dewy vegetation. There is no particularly comfortable place to lie down, and there are no prospects for an easy hunt. A lone male is not a successful hunting machine. Lions are communal and cooperative. Hunting involves strategy and teamwork. Moreover, the team, or pride, is mostly made up of lionesses. Big males are more imposing and powerful, but they are not usually as quick and collaborative. Their role in lion society is to defend territory against rival lions and other predators such as leopards and hyenas. This big fellow is in his prime or perhaps just past it. Maybe he has lost his pride to a younger male. As he steps out into the sunlight of the rapidly warming morning, he is still confident and king of all that he surveys. It is perhaps lucky that he cannot foretell the future. - Robert Bateman

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