On a typical day at the workplace for Pieter van Wyk, a 34-year-old park ranger in South Africa’s MalaMala Game Reserve, he experienced something he will never forget.
When a lion pride approached his vehicle, the man was outside taking photographs. Van Wyk recorded the event and it’s enough to make your hair stand on end!
The lions were seeking some shade on a scorching hot day in the MalaMala Reserve. They immediately rushed to claim a spot when they noticed that van Wyk’s car had left behind a shadow cat. Within seconds, nearly two dozen lions surrounded the car, leaving the ranger trapped outside.
“It was early in the morning, and the thermometer was climbing fast as the sun rose higher into the sky,” said the ranger.
“The lions were on the lookout for shade, not food, so they decided that my vehicle’s shadow would do just fine. It isn’t unusual during hot days, and it was their decision to approach me in my ‘personal space.’
The game ranger was forced to wait a couple of hours, outside his vehicle, until the sun moved and the shade vanished as the 22 lions got too close for comfort. It’s when van Wyk was able to rejoin his car when the magnificent cats had gone elsewhere.
“Animals have precedence, so I had to wait. But it wasn’t long before the shadow got too tiny, and they moved on. ” He captured the moment on his camera and it is not for the faint of heart. Take a peek: