Benin: Where Lions Attack

Lion at Pendjari National Park, Benin, Africa.
Lion at Pendjari National Park, Benin, Africa.

I came home to the cold but found that my gloves and a brisk walk solved the problem. Then to the treasures that my mailbox always brings.  Yesterday I published a story by a young writer named Jonathan David Thompson, who recalled an experience he had in Benin recently.

He was checking into a lodge at the Pendjari National Park, and his guide came up, short of breath, with an urgent plea. “The lions are out right now, if you want to see them, now is the time.”  After a short protest about wanting to get into his room, Thompson relented…after all,  many people come to the park and never see any lions.

There was a male and a female lion who appeared from beneath a tree.  “With one hulking leap, the lion lunged toward the safari car. The tourists inside screamed, and the driver made a move to pull the car away from danger.

The giant cat swiped a massive paw through the air and let out a bone-rattling roar that rolled through the tall grass like thunder and shook the ground. My hair stood on end, and my skin instantly went cold.”

A few days later,  they come upon a French couple in a RAV4  and told them that they had seen dangerous lions down the road.  The guide and  his passengers had managed to back up and escape from the same male lion who had come running toward them, and told the French guy that he should think twice before going down there. “We’re not afraid of any lions,” the man told them boastfully.

Then they drove away and Thompson’s team followed the RAV, only to watch in amazement as the male tiger mauled the car’s exposed spare tire, terrorizing the passengers.  “We returned back to the hotel and exchanged our lion tale with the other tourists in the lobby. They were all eager to hear our side of the attack until the French family’s Rav4 safely pulled into the parking lot and trumped anything that we could say. Everyone left their tables to admire the souvenir that the lion had made of the spare tire of their rental car.

Read the whole story on