They are, after all, the kings of the savanna, so it must have been a formidable enemy that has forced an entire pride of lions to climb into the safety of a tree.
Yet, it turns out that it wasn’t a herd of stampeding Cape buffalo that forced the pride to go airborne, but a swarm of lowly, though pesky, flies.
These astonishing photographs of the pride, with some of the big cats perched precariously more than 20 feet up in the branches, were captured by Australian photographer Bobby-Jo Clow, who came across the incredible sight while on a safari in the central Serengeti in Tanzania. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. The bizarre moment an entire pride of lions decided to take a nap up on a tree. At least 15 of the beasts were caught on camera lounging on the branches of a sturdy tree in Central Serengeti, Tanzania.
2. The pride of lions and their offspring climb up the tree to both escape flies and to seek shade from the sun.
3. In the cool of the shade — and away from the pesky ground flies — the lions can finally relax.
Clow, 32, had this to say about her photographs:
Our guide spotted the pride in the trees and luckily we were able to get close enough to the lions to create some unique images. We were close enough that we could hear their vocal interaction and also hear some of them snoring in the tree.
It was an incredible sight and was very comical at times as the lions appeared rather clumsy while moving and repositioning themselves.
Our guide told us that due to the recent rains, the grass was quite long and that lions climb trees to escape the insects that thrive there.
4. Despite being so far off the ground, this lion still wasn’t happy — with flies still visible around her head.
5. The incredible photographs were taken on a stretch of rich grassland in Tanzania by Australian photographer Bobby-Jo Clow.
6. The lions take some time out from hunting and washing to catch a nap high up in the air.
7. In this part of Africa, the lions sleep on trees.
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