Growing up and learning the rules of life is difficult no matter what species you belong to. Just like human babies, lion babies need to learn the crucial skill of swimming. However, there are no lessons involved for these baby lions – they’re immediately chucked into the deep end to see if they could pass the swimming test.
Being the resilient creatures they are though, it’s no surprise that these baby lions passed with flying colors!
Can Lions Swim?
Contrary to popular belief, lions are indeed capable swimmers, though they are not naturally inclined towards aquatic environments.
Lions in the wild may cross bodies of water during hunts or to cool off, using shallow waters for stealthier approaches. To sum up, their interactions with water are largely influenced by environmental factors, and sightings of swimming lions are relatively rare.
Why Did They Have to Take a Swimming Test?
The swimming test at the National Zoo in Washington DC serves a vital safety purpose. As a moat surrounds their enclosure, it’s crucial for the lion cubs to be able to swim across it in case they fall in.
By passing this test it establishes their readiness to be on public display. Such tests are a precautionary measure and of outmost importance to ensure their safety – which, at the end of the day, is the zoos most vital mission.
Baby Lions Pass Their Swimming Test: Adorable Footage
In this adorable footage, the ten-week-old lion cubs are introduced to water for the first time. Initially they are startled (and probably very annoyed) by the unexpected immersion. But most mammals have an innate swimming ability, and they quickly adapt!
Each cub, with varying degrees of ease are able navigate their way out of the water. In other words, they passed their test with flying colors!
Big Cats Also Don’t Like Water
Lions, much like their domesticated counterparts, have an inherent dislike for water. They will swim only when absolutely necessary, such as when crossing rivers in pursuit of prey or escaping threats.
In their natural habitats, lions use water-rich environments to their advantage, employing their swimming skills for ambush hunting or territory expansion. This selective engagement with water underscores their adaptability in diverse environments.
How Fast Can Lions Swim?
Surprisingly, lions can swim quite fast, reaching speeds of up to 25 mph. However, they are unable to maintain this speed over long distances due to their heavy build and the energy-intensive nature of swimming.
In contrast, on land, lions can sprint nearly twice as fast, with top speeds nearing 50 mph. This difference highlights their primary adaptation as land predators. Swimming will never be their area of expertise, but more of a secondary, survival-oriented skill.
A Step Towards Independence
The swimming test for lion cubs is more than a mere safety procedure; it’s a step towards their independence. By learning to swim, these cubs are not only ensuring their safety in their moated habitat but also developing crucial survival skills.
This training reflects the zoo’s commitment to preparing these young lions for a life that closely mirrors the challenges they would face in the wild.
Baby Lions Pass Swimming Test: Conclusion
The swimming test of the lion cubs at the National Zoo in Washington DC reveals the lesser-known aquatic abilities of lions and. As visitors flock to witness these adorable cubs, they are not just witnessing a cute spectacle, but also their journey towards becoming the future kings of the jungle.
Learning the ropes of life is hard no matter what animal you are, but these brave lion babies are clearly ready to take on whatever life throws at them.
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