Man and nature will be saved together in a happy harmony, where our species will disappear with the last remainders from a balance which was not created to thwart the development of humanity, but to be used as a framework.

Jean Dorst.

Play in the Ngorongoro crater.

Much too often, with the cinema or in the novels of adventure, one depicts the large cat-like ones as cruel carnivores which lead a war without mercy to the herbivores, eternal victims, and even devour each other as soon as they can.

Actually, in lonelinesses of Eastern Africa where there are steppes and savannahs which shelter nowadays the greatest concentrations of wild beasts in the world, Lions do not howl and do not show their claws; they peacefully sleep in the shade of the acacias in family groups, drawing much more the attention by their somnolence and their passivity than by their ferocity.

The traveller who will be patient can even surprise an adorable Lion cub hardly larger than a young cat, teasing its sleepy father. The astonishment of the witness will be greater when he notes that within a hundred meters of these peaceful beings, zebras and antelopes feed quietly, only raising their heads to look at the big cats, as if they want to make sure that they are still there.

Even the Leopard, terrible and legendary cat-like with the spotted coat, considered by so many neophytes as the keenest and the most daring of all the predators, is actually only large and lazy. It sleeps deeply, well fixed between the branches of an acacia; besides which noise will succeed in tearing off this large wild beast from its digestive nap. From a statistical point of view, a zebra is not more likely to be devoured by a lion than a townsman to die driving his car.

In the same way that we drive carefree on the roads without thinking of the thousands traps which are set, zebras and gnus feed calmly near the cat-like ones. A permanent tension from the hunters as the driven out would only lead to the wasting of energy, which is opposed to the economical laws of nature.

We cannot unfortunately say the same about man, that his would be intelligence proclaims with the row of super predator, and who never satisfied, urged by his desire of power and domination, does not hesitate in spite of his own survival to ridicule this law and to devote himself to carnage over nature, leaving behind him the signature of his irresponsible and suicidal behaviour. Today, many species of large and small Felidae are threatened to extinction. However man needs these animals which have so much to teach him...

Thus, these carnivores can live with the remainders of a prey and as long as they are satisfied, they will not make any superfluous movement and will not devote themselves to the painful exercise of hunting for the simple pleasure of killing. Moreover, when they decide to drive out, these predators always ensure the permanence of the herd they track by generally choosing their victims among the weakest and the less robust.

Here, I hope that this modest page will have shown you another facet of these formidable creatures, certainly less spectacular but which will allow you nevertheless to appreciate them fully.

Go back to my Home Page