It might not take too long before animals in South Africa’s Kruger National Park noticed human absence, and lions have taken over – like the legend of lions leading teams in their respective ‘cities’.
On Wednesday, park ranger, Richard Sowry caught sight of a pride sleeping on the road that’s usually busy with tourists. And Kruger, like other wildlife parks, has been shut since 25 March as part of the coronavirus lockdown. Big cats would usually only be seen by rangers on the roads by night.
While driving near Orpen Rest Camp Wednesday afternoon, Richard spotted the lions on the road ahead and pulled up just five metres (5.5 yards) away to look at the glorious sight. He quickly began taking pictures of a pride who seemed unbothered by him. They were fast asleep.
“Lions are used to people in vehicles,” he explained. “All animals have much more of an instinctive fear of people on foot, so if I had walked up they would never have allowed me to get so close.”
The oldest lioness in the pride is about 14, “which is very old for a lioness”, so they are used to seeing vehicles.
He is just happy to share his photos with people who cannot visit the park right now because of the coronavirus pandemic. Talk about touring on your phone.
“These are difficult times for everyone and the intention was to bring people joy,” he says.
You want to know more about modern-day South African National Parks? See here