They say that curiosity killed the cat, however, in this case curiosity could very well have killed the human being… Always keep your doors locked around these guys!
Captured on film by 36-year-old Bronwyn Hattingh, Latestsightings.com caught up with her to find out about this awesome encounter: “My husband and I were driving in convoy with friends (Anri and Ansie) who were travelling behind us. It was just after 5 am and we came across 6 lions lying on the side of the road. They were yawning and waking up for the day. We sat for about 15 minutes before the lionesses decided to get up and leave the road with 2 of the younger males following them. One young male decided to stay behind and on the side of the road. My husband decided to drive slowly past the young lion so that the other tourist could see the lionesses and other young males who walked off into the bush.
Our friends drove behind us and decided to get some photos of the lions. As she stopped the young male become very interested in her yellow mirror covers, this is when I turned my camera on. He wanted to take the mirror covers off. So Anri drove slowly forward which caused him to get a fright and jump back, this however did not deter him. He started to sniff around the car and then with his lower jaw tried to open Anri’s right passenger door. Twice you could hear the handle opening and closing. It was as if he had done it many times before. Anri was enjoying the young male being so close to the car but Ansie who was in the back seat, not so much, as the lion was nearly as big as their car and she thought he would jump on their roof! You can see all Anri’s facial reactions. Thank goodness he did not open the car door as Anri had locked it quickly.
He then wanted to investigate the boot which he also tried to open but he put his huge paw on the car like don’t leave I want to play. Another young male saw the fun and decided to stalk and pounce on the naughty lion from the bush. This was when Anri decided to drive off. We were all laughing and I said they are bored and naughty, let’s get out of here….
I was very nervous for Anri and Ansie. I thought oh my gosh I hope the lion does not open the door, but the enjoyed watching the events unfold. Young male lions are my absolute favourite with their cute mohawks and curious nature. We had only ever heard of this happening (lions opening doors) and I kind of did not believe it but seeing it with my own eyes it shocked me to realise how clever lions really are!
I think Anri did handle the situation well by not upsetting the lion or hurting him in anyway. You can see the lion was not aggressive just curious. It’s wonderful to get so up close and personal with these beautiful animals but it’s also important that you know when to leave so the situation does not escalate. We need to be respectful of the animals and their environments.
I loved that everyone at the sighting remained calm and enjoyed watching the lion. It’s something I will never ever forget. I feel very blessed to be able to visit the Kruger every year at this time. Anri did say that at the white lion sighting she had a few days before just off the S100, some of the members of the lion pride were interested in her can and were rubbing up against it. That must have been the reason why the young male was interested because of the scent of other lions.