As we arrived at the lions exhibit, we immediately noticed that something was going on. Never had we seen the lion and lionesses so active and alert. Seemingly they were very interested and focused on something in the water near the wall of the moat that surrounds the exhibit. We couldn't see what it was that got so much of the lions attention, but one of the other photographers next to me told us that, just before we arrived, one of the lionesses had attacked a heron that had landed in the lions' exhibit. She nearly caught it, but the heron managed to escape, but was severely wounded. It was now hiding somewhere close to the moat wall, out of view for the public, but not for the lions. Another heron was looking from the roof, as s lioness sniffed the sad remains of the wounded heron, some plumes that were left behind... How frustrating for the lion and lionesses, that they could see their prey, and maybe even taste it's blood as they were drinking the water of the moat. But it was out of reach for them. After some time, two zoo keepers arrived. They were alarmed by the public, and came with a scoop net to catch the wounded heron out of the water. Didn't look like it would survive it's injuries... Now the lions, still frustrated, kept staring at the empty spot, here their prey had disappeared... Hopefully they will have some more luck next time. Lesson for the herons: do stay out of the lions exhibit - those big pussy cats love living meat!!
- photo's made in Artis Amsterdam Zoo, the Netherlands -