|We have witnessed a number of lion attacks against elephants, so were accustomed to
seeing that moment when the spark of life leaves the victims eyes. The female
elephant we were watching had reached that point. She just gave up completely and
sank to her knees with eight lions on her. She started to roll over when she heard
another elephant in the darkness. Suddenly the life came back into her eyes. She rose
up off the ground and started swinging and fighting back. Eventually she got enough
strength to get back on her feet, throw the lions off, and run away. She survived! We
couldnt help but cheer.
||We had a particularly hard time because to follow lions and elephants at night we had
to be up the whole night. We started working about 4 p.m. and continued until about 9
or 10 the next morning. We werent getting any decent sleep because it was so hot
during the day, so we started to feel the fatigue. We were there for 11 weeks, and by
the end we were completely bushed and making bad mistakes. There were times when we
worked ten nights in a row without any sleep, and very often we ended up nodding off
and missing an attack. Wed wake up and find that the lions were already on an
elephant. That happened four or five times!
After a while we began to lose our memory. Once we were checking through customs and
the agent asked our birthdays. We looked at each other because we didnt know. We had
to check our passports.
||One evening we were sitting in the dark waiting to witness an attack. Elephants were
all around, and lions were drinking from a pool of water. When the lions began to move
away, we thought they would not be hunting. One male lion in particular went off into
A few hours passed, and we heard the lion calling and coming back. So we got inside
our open-door vehicle and prepared to see an attack after all.
The lion kept calling and getting closer. Then he came into the vehicle where we were
sitting. Were very familiar and comfortable with these lions, so we just watched
him. When he suddenly disappeared from our vision, we thought he had gone off to
drink again. Then, in the next moment, he was coming straight at me. He tried to
snatch me out of the vehicle! It didnt make sense because we were just sitting there
quietly, but clearly something had happened in the dark that got him riled up. I
managed to move my foot and felt his paw brush past it. Its strange, though. We
worked for another three or four weeks with the same lion, and he never did that
again. You never know whats going on in their minds or how to predict their moods.