The Lion That Loves to Play Football

Football-mad Triton, an 11-year-old male lion who was born at the Johannesburg Zoo, is like a kitten with a favorite toy when his soccer ball comes into sight. His face lights up whenever Agnes Maluleke, the Johannesburg zookeeper in charge of the carnivore section, tosses the ball into his enclosure, and he’ll pass it and kick it between his paws and follow it wherever it rolls off to – even the water!

According to the Lion Den, games are very important for a lion’s development, just as they are for other predators: “Most of their play imitates behaviors they will use as adults including stalking and fighting. Play is an important way for cubs to learn these adult skills as well as to form strong social bonds with their companions.” However, adult male lions rarely play – while female lions (lionesses) continue to play into adulthood. Apparently no one told Triton, since he refuses to share his ball with any of the seven female lions that he shares his enclosure with.

With his impressive dribbling skills, Agnes thinks “all soccer players can come and learn a thing or two from Triton, because he’s the best soccer player.”

It just goes to show that regardless of a feline’s size – whether it’s the king of the jungle or a house panther – every kitty loves playing with toys!


Goats on the Run!

In Issaquah, WA, this week, a herd of weed-eating goats made a great escape from their enclosure. Accompanied by their frantic livestock guardian dog – we’re picturing him as the fish in ‘Cat in the Hat’ – they had a grand run in the city streets and manicured lawns.

Animal Picture of the Day:
Bald Eagle

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a bird of prey found in North America. A sea eagle, its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. The emblem bird of the United States, the bald eagle is majestic in its appearance, but it is not always so majestic in its habits. It is an opportunist: it often feeds on carrion, including in garbage dumps and dead fish washed up on shore, and it steals food from smaller birds. At other times, however, it is a powerful predator.

The bald eagle has a body length of 70–102 cm (28–40 in). Typical wingspan is between 1.8 and 2.3 m (5 ft 11 in and 7 ft 7 in) and mass is normally between 3 and 6.3 kg (6.6 and 13.9 lb). Females are about 25% larger than males, averaging as much as 5.6 kg (12 lb), while males’ average weight is 4.1 kg (9.0 lb).

Bonus Photo

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.15