Everyone is writing to me about the American woman who was tragically killed by a lion today at the Lion Park, a place close to where I am now, and which I have visited several times. Apparently it happened because she had left her car windows open. This is jarring for people who join me on our Africa trips, because our land-rovers don't even have windows. (Or roofs, for that matter.)
However, the circumstances are entirely different. The Lion Park is a small artificial environment with captive lions that are used to being fed by humans and associate humans with food. Wild lions, on the other hand, are not intimately familiar with humans and do not associate them with food. As long as you stay seated in the vehicle, the lion perceives you and the vehicle as a single, inedible entity. The important thing to remember is not to stand up in the car or lean out of it.
I must admit, though, that I am not exactly a poster boy for safe interactions with wild animals. Here's a video from yesterday (as usual, those reading this via email will have to visit the website to see it). This was while I was filming material for a documentary at Akwaaba Predator Park in South Africa. This particular piece of footage will not be used in the final product!
You can come see a non-dangerous striped hyena at The Biblical Museum of Natural History. (It's not dangerous because it's stuffed.)
Off to Zimbabwe tomorrow! Lehitra'ot!
(Thanks to my good friend Jake Shepherd for all his help in South Africa!)
(P.S. I'm not yet choosing a winner for yesterday's caption contest, because entries are still coming in.)