Monday, September 27, 2010

Lion hunting

Because the landscape at the Sosian Ranch is so rustic and finding animals isn't as easy as in the plains, their neighbors had put tracking devices on the wild dogs and lions.  The neighbor's reason for the tracking device is for scientific purposes. Sosian's reason for the tracking device is to find the animals for their guests.

My second night there, Steve and Albie (the guides) took Vanessa, Anne, Matt and me (the guests) on a lion hunt. We drove along the dirt roads while Albie held the antenna and listened to the beeps coming from a signaling device.  The closer we got the the animal, the faster the beeps came.  This is how the hunting went... Albie listening and Steve driving down the dirt road, with the rest of us sitting in anticipation, knowing we were getting closer and closer with every turn of the wheels.  And then... we stopped.

The next few seconds happened in such quick succession it's as if my mind was too slow to capture it all.  Albie handed off the signaling device to Steve, and picked up a 325 caliber rifle as both opened their perspective doors and stepped out.  It's one of those moments you wish you were seated in a stadium with the giant screens showing an instant replay in slow motion, because you weren't certain you saw the play correctly.  At least, that's how the four of us sat... in shock and confusion.  Unsure of what had just happened and what was going on, eager for an explanation.  When Steve told us all to get out of the car, our response was in unison:  "wait...what?"

See, the thing about the tracking device is, although it beeps faster the closer you get to the animal, it doesn't give an exact distance.  Meaning, you never know if the animal is 5 feet or 50 feet in front of you.  You just know that it's really close.

Wary, we stepped out.  We looked at eachother with wide eyes.  I'm sure I wasn't the only one who's heart started beating just a bit faster.   And wouldn't you know it, but the first thing we did was walk through grass that was knee high.  I kept thinking: "DIDN'T THEY EVER SEE THE LION KING??"  You know, the part where Simba's dad is teaching him to hunt, so they get really, really, low in the high grass in order to keep their prey unsuspecting until the last moment,... when they pounce!

So I grabbed my camcorder and had it rolling. If I was going down because of a lion, I wanted the video played at my funeral.


Anonymous said...

Muito bom..

boa noite.

Jamie said...

I can't really say I was interested in doing an African safari until I started reading your posts. Now it's on "the list."

ReL said...

wow, that's pretty intense!


I was waiting for the lion to charge...I'm glad it didn't:) Claire you are living it up girl!