Do lions often climb trees?

Do lions climb? Sarah Huebner from the Lion Research Centre has all the answers.

Lioness and her cub. © Jonathan & Angela Scott/Getty

Not really. Though individuals from most prides exhibit tree-climbing behaviour, they don’t do it very often – in less than five per cent of observations.

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The primary motivation for heading up into the branches it to avoid something unpleasant on the ground, such as an attack by elephants or buffalo. These skirmishes often occur after a failed predation event, when the prey animals have sufficent numcers to retaliate. Elephants and buffalo are quite capable of killing a cornered lion due to their size and strength.

Lions may also climb trees to get better vantage points for identifying potential targets, or to avoid biting insects.

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