January 17, 2013

Sleeping Lion, South Africa

Photograph by Ande Truman, Your Shot

This Month in Photo of the Day: Animal Pictures

This male lion rests in the soft grass on a gloomy day in South Africa.

(This photo and caption were submitted to Your Shot.)


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37 comments
aniket sawant
aniket sawant

classic picture of the king taking rest!!!!do not disturb him..if u wanna be think to do so...think again!!!!

borna nasri
borna nasri

I never pictures like this its so beautiful

Gary Grant
Gary Grant

I grew up in national parks in South Africa. My father was a game ranger then warden of a number of parks when I was a kid. This photo looks fake to me too.

mon mon
mon mon

Oh wow. Just wow. Lions are so magnificent, deadly, but magnificent. And here this one is sleeping so peacefully. Making this my wallpaper! Thank you for sharing!

Pearl Miller
Pearl Miller

Hey Ande, I am a passionate lion lover and when I saw this picture, I was overjoyed. I want you to know that I REALLY appreciate this photo as well as you. I think that we should maybe meet up seeing that we both love lions. Coffee sometime?


Ziv Taviv
Ziv Taviv

Hi Ande i just want to say that there is no other way to take this photo it's perfect !

Katie Middleton
Katie Middleton

Absolutely beautiful! A real treat that you were able to get so close to something so magnificent! My dog, Maggie, is of similar coloring so I really just want to go snuggle with him. ;)

Molly E.
Molly E.

@Kurt Bugeja your comments are extremely accurate, and I thank you so much for informing everyone on the pure, magnificent, and uniquely beautiful ways of nature. This photo captures a rare lion on a break and it is breathtaking. Thank you @Ande Truman for taking this picture.

Kamin Personett
Kamin Personett

I created an account just so I could comment here.  My super-awesome cousin took this photo!  I'm proud of you, Ande!!!

Eva In GreatLakes
Eva In GreatLakes

This picture makes me want to curl up next to the Lion and sleep too.

Daniele Grasser
Daniele Grasser

I'm sorry but this picture does not look natural.  That lion looks like it's dead; what lion just lays, ASLEEP, on its side in the middle of a field w/o it's pride to protect it?  Or was the picture photo-shopped?  Not impressed. 

Tina Crofts
Tina Crofts

I just want to thank National Geographic for this site. I am a teacher and we look at these pictures all the time. These amazing shots generate fabulous conversation in my classroom and bring the outside world into our little classroom in Utah. 

Thanks to all the people who comment as well. We read your comments (after I have read over them before hand) to see what other people are thinking as well. My kids love that they see some of the same people commenting each day. Anyway, thanks! 

Nilo Baranda
Nilo Baranda

would make a great poster for a spa or a hotel room. It's contagious. It's catching. It makes me feel zzzzzzngork!!!

Kurt Bugeja
Kurt Bugeja

The colour is accurate. That is a rare White lion. Please not that it is not a case of albinism but his colour is due to a unique recessive gene, which at one point in time was only endemic to one place in the globe; The Timbavati Region.

Rebecca Rose
Rebecca Rose

He looks so pale.  Is that color accurate I wonder?  I like the contrast between him and the darkness of the rest of the pic.

Ande Truman
Ande Truman

@Gary Grant I was the photographer. What about this could possibly be fake? Not every beautiful thing is Photoshopped.

Ande Truman
Ande Truman

@Daniele Grasser I took it. It's definitely not dead. I tripped right after taking this photo and it leaped up and looked me right. It was in a lion game park in South Africa, so yeah, it was just lying there in the field. And no, it wasn't Photoshopped. Sorry you weren't impressed!

ng fan
ng fan

@Daniele Grasser sorry, clicked on like, to agree with what you said, but it came up as unlike,

water bird
water bird

@Kurt Bugeja  dear kurt, thanks for your explanation,and i trust that it is accurate...  since i was torn in my ignorance between finding the picture an amazingly unique & peaceful composition  but yet very unsettling .  receiving an impression  that the lion "king of the wild" in this compostion resembled a fire rug  or even worse yet a  photo shopped fire rug.

Ande Truman
Ande Truman

@Rebecca Rose Yep, the color is accurate. No Photoshopping done (I took it). I had never seen a lion that color before either!

Kurt Bugeja
Kurt Bugeja

@water bird @Kurt Bugeja 

I know it may sound absurd, however lions as most cats do like to sleep. Some have been known to sleep for up to 21 hours a day. The only way in which wild lions keep themselves fit, especially the rogue ones, is by hunting. As you may be aware their hunting also involves hunting animals such as the Wildebeest, which are much more larger than themselves. Practically the lions will be giving it all they've got in order to run after the pray, jump on it, bring it down and kill it slowly. And that requires lots of energy. 


With regards of the photo, it is not the typical glorified King of the Jungle photo, however it illustrates a magnificent beast (shiny white almost "angelic") resting with the background landscape (gray skies, dull colours) complementing the air of peace that is around. 

Russell Campbell
Russell Campbell

@Ande Truman @Rebecca Rose Seems like you might have talked about the color in the initial comments. It is very odd. Someone said it was a rare white lion, which is supposedly not related to albinism, but it looks like a plastic sculpture, too. I'll believe you if you say it's real, but even your "tripped" story sounds odd. How close were you? Did you have a vehicle to jump back into? Why didn't he eat you? Do you not taste good? We are all awaiting the answer to these important questions.

Ande Truman
Ande Truman

@Russell Campbell I'm a photographer, not a zoologist. I have no idea if he's rare, I just thought he was beautiful. I think you're the only one who's really concerned with the answers to these questions but I'll break this down.  

I went to a Lion Park near Port Elizabeth called Seaview Lion Park, I believe. There are walkways in between the fields of lions separated by 3 electric wires and another fence with large square holes in front of that. I put my lens through the holes of the fence to take the picture. I am looking at my camera data and it was taken at a 24mm focal length, so obviously I was very close. To get this angle I needed to kneel down since so I could get a view of the sky is well. Because I was was protected by the fence and electrical wire, I didn't feel the need to lace up my running shoes in case it scaled the 10 foot fence and ate me. So I left my sneakers unlaced. I knelt down and took the photo. As I repositioned myself to get down even further, my foot slipped out of my unlaced shoe so I grabbed the fence so I wouldn't fall. The noise scared him and be jumped up. He wasn't threatened, just startled. They're fed on a regular basis at the camp so they're pretty docile anyway. 

Is that enough?

Nicola Alberts
Nicola Alberts

@Ande Truman @Russell Campbell 

I know this lion, his name is Thor and he loves sleeping. I have been there a few times and 3 out of the 4 times he was taking a nap. I took a very similar photo of him at Seaview Lion park just a week ago. Nice photo! Don't know why so many people think it is fake.

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