31 May 2011

The tree-climbing lions of Uganda

It is relatively rare for lions to climb trees. Only two populations of lions in world are actually known to be climbing trees as part of their every day behaviour. One population can be found in Ishasha which is in the south sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and the other one is can be found in the Lake Manyara region in Uganda and Southern Tanzania. It is believed that these lions are climbing trees as protection against the biting tsetse flies at ground level or possibly to catch any breeze to stay cool.

That the lions of Ishasha are climbing trees appears to be a learnt behaviour and can therefore be seen as a culture trait of these particular lion population. It remains unclear why this behaviour is rare in other lions groups. Kudos @ KipperSarnie for the video footage!


  1. All lions can climb trees, and they do if it is necessary!

  2. You are right, but only the lions of Ishasha (and Lake Manyara) are known to be climbing on trees as part of their every day behaviour...