Before I fell in love with elephants, I went to Africa to see lions. Fed by documentaries and NationalGeographic, I wanted the excitement of watching lions hunting. I wanted tooth and claw and blood. I wanted my skin to crawl.
So in 1999, near Kruger National Park, I spent a morning following the paw prints of Panthera leo krugeri, afoot in the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve – the name derived from a Tsonga word that means “Danger! Danger!”
Six would-be trackers and two rangers named Syd and Bernardo clumped together and stared at a set of padded marks in the sand. “Which way?” Syd asked. We pointed variously in the same general direction. “Okay, ready?”
We scuffed our feet. We’re sort of ready. Syd hefted the rifle from its rack on the dash of our Land Rover and my eyes followed this motion. I nodded to myself…
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