Watching and Waiting
The lion roared in the distance and my heart soared. This is what everyone had been talking about; this is what we were waiting for. This was to be the grand moment...and then the bush moved and two of them came into view. Two male lions, one strong, one injured from a fight. Both of them looked tired as they slowly moved toward the edge. The injured of the two limped forward, but stopped and lay down. It seemed that getting water was not motivation enough for him to walk on his injured leg any further than he already had. The stronger of the two turned and looked at his injured brother, almost as if he was worried. Then turned and focused on quenching his thirst.
The birds, frogs and even the crickets seemed to all be holding their breath, hoping not to be detected by the pair that represented the strength of the bush. The injured brother watched and listened as his brother drank long and deep, lap after lap with a tongue that could tear meat from flesh, or gently pull sips of water from the pond.
The microphone at the waterhole picked up the steady sound of the lion as he drank... it was a soothing sound, much like that of a house cat sitting at his water bowl. Relieving his thirst, he moved around to another area of the waterhole and lay down with the look that has earned this animal the nick name of the King of the animal life. He was never too far from his brother, yet there was a sense that staying close was not going to be enough to save his brother from the injury that would eventually take his life.
Watching this pair was a privilege, an honor. Seeing them in their natural habitat was breathtaking. While their habitat is shrinking, and their lives are threatened if they venture out of this safe area, they are still living a life that was intended for them. Seeing the injured lion was hard from some, but I have come to realize as time goes by that nature has a way of taking care of itself. It is when we step in and try to “help” them that things begin to fall in a downward spiral. I am grateful that Africam keeps its cameras as undetectable as possible, as unobtrusive as they can. When we see the lions stroll by after weeks of waiting, we appreciate their glory and presence in a way that is hard to put in words.
Another night is approaching, so I will once again watch and listen, waiting for whatever nature decides to let me see. And if I don’t see anything, I will watch again tomorrow and again the next day, simply because this is exactly where I want to be....watching the Africam cams.