On lions, high jump, the insignificance of Acacia trees, fresh underwear and the eminent doom that faces us all. Arthur Ford is on safari.
NELSPRUIT – Scientists in the Kruger National Park discovered a newly evolved species of lion. This lion is said to look physically similar to other lions, but has the ability to jump 12 meters (40 feet) into the air.
According to Doctor Johan van Niekerk, biologist at the University of Pretoria, a series of gene mutations caused lions to develop additional strength in their hind legs, increasing their ability to leap upwards. “You can see the legs are slightly bigger, but the muscles possess an incredible ability to contract which really causes the increase in vertical capability,” van Niekerk suggested.
The team of researchers didn’t so much find the lions, rather, the lions found them. “We discovered this lion when he came bearing down on us over a small Acacia tree,” recalled van Niekerk. “I vividly remember the swooping mane and the ferocious roar. It mangled the hood of my Land Rover and the insurance company refuse to pay out. How do you explain that? It got crushed by a flying lion!”
Van Niekerk managed to revive Jaco Steenkamp, the group’s scatological expert, after a minor seizure induced by the sudden fright. “The sight of a lion pouncing from out of nowhere was just too much for him. I could barely keep it together myself. Good thing Vicky (Prinsloo, research assistant) was sitting in the back and didn’t see it coming. That would have been a real mess.”
After a fresh change of clothes the group set off to follow the lion and discovered a whole pride of leaping lions. “It was quite a sight,” remembered Steenkamp. “They were bouncing everywhere. The little ones could clear 2 metres (6 feet) easily, even without a run-up.”
The researchers tranquilised two of the lions, a male and female, to withdraw samples. “We took everything. Blood samples, stool samples, you name it,” claimed Steenkamp. All samples were hastened through to the lab back in Pretoria, where it was confirmed that the leaping lions are indeed genetically a new species. “No question, there’s definitely genetic mutation involved.”
This poses a grave danger to humans. “Not only will our fences be unable to keep them away, but the sight of seeing a lion bearing down at you from altitude will probably kill you before its teeth does,” van Niekerk remarked. “We expect the number of fatalities from lions to increase drastically in the next few months.”
A task team has been set up to deal with containment solutions in anticipation of the impending lion apocalypse. “We can’t just go in and kill them all, although we keep that in mind,” said van Niekerk. “We hope to find a solution where man and lion can coexist in relative peace.” BN
Arthur spent many years trying to find empirical evidence that the earth is round. When he discovered it has already been proven he decided to focus on reporting the findings of other, more distinguished scientists instead. In his free time he researches the psychology of African killer bees.
- Demand for lion bones offers South African breeders a lucrative return (guardian.co.uk)
- Males lions excel as ambush hunters (upi.com)
- Males Lions Excel As Ambush Hunters (personalliberty.com)
- Lion Parts Stopped by Biosecurity Staff (sotinpc.wordpress.com)
- Big Cats Vs the World (1cdo.com)
- Male and Female African Lions Hunt Using Different Strategy (conservationcubclub.com)
- Illinois Bill Aims to Outlaw Lion Meat (theepochtimes.com)