Learning from Lions and Their Schemes of Hunting.

Lions are very interesting animals from my observation. They could not be the bravest animals all the time but we can all agree they are conquerors. In some parts of Africa, Lions have mastered the art of hunting to a level they are able to go for Elephants, the giants of the forests. Most of the time, nothing stands on their way especially when they are hungry and hunting for food.

Steve Jobs in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University crowned his speech with a simple phrase that I find quite relevant at all times. He told the graduands, “Stay hungry, Stay Foolish.” There is no place this phrase makes the most sense than in the forest. And because lions could not wish to stay hungry, they have mastered the game of hunting. What makes their hunting so successful? I observed a few critical components they have mastered.


When it comes to focusing, lions are very superb at this. Like the Cheetahs or Leopards, they single out a target from a huge group of prey and give it their whole attention. The Lion then follows the animals closely with the eyes fixed on the target; which is not chosen by chance but rather a careful and serious consideration. It could be the animal most vulnerable among the whole group, the animal the lion can outrun or outwit or even the most satisfactory prey for that matter.

When the time for making a move against the prey arrives, it is common to see the lion run in the midst of the group of animals and just going for the target only. This fearless animals seem to understand that focus has power. In over 85% of the time, the lions succeed with this strategy. It is important for us also to focus if we look forward to success at whatever stage of our lives. Perhaps like Jobs I can say, “Stay on Course, Stay Successful.”


In North Africa, life can sometimes be very hard for wildlife especially in the deserts and during the dry periods. The rivers often dry out in the hot months and this often pushes the animals to go searching for water over long distances the way humans do. When a lion comes across a water pan by any chance, it understands that its’ perfect time for food is just a matter of time.

The lion lies in a nearby thicket or a covered place and waits for the prey to come. It can often be a matter of hours or even days, all the lion is supposed to do is watch and wait patiently.  In Maasai Mara, the lions can follow the herd of wildebeests for kilometers on end patiently waiting for the perfect time to strike. Most of the time, they never go hungry. They end up making a kill.

Back to me, there are times I become so impatient but on remembering that patience was the key component for Thomas Edison in the invention of the light bulb, I just keep going. Were it not for a lot of patience from our early inventors, we could not be having the world changing innovations and inventions that have made life so meaningful, easy and perhaps enjoyable. I keep myself going by the mere motivation of the determination of some of the greatest men of this world, maybe I only need to hold on a little bit longer.

Pool up

This is yet another important aspect of lions be it on a single or group hunt mission. It however needs some critical observation to perceive it. For a single lion hunting on it is own, it needs to pool up all its energy when ready to go for the prey. Its philosophy could be that of take a risk with all the reserves of energy in store because the moment the kill is made, the lion will have a refund in ten-fold.

In groups, especially for big kills like elephants, giraffes, wildebeest and the like, the lions often work together. They understand very well that working together is very important if success for the hundreds of pounds of flesh are to fill their bellies. They pool up their energy, skills and momentum for the occasion. That is why they are among the most successful hunters of the animals in the wild.

I have learnt over time that if you can’t crack it alone, hold hands and pool up resources together with like-minded individuals. The returns will be huge. A lonely lion can only kill small prey whereas a pride of lions on the other hand can bring down the heaviest elephant. The return on investment or success of a venture will most of the time be dependent on synergy. I will repeat a thousand times that we can never succeed alone.

Lions working together to bring down a huge Buffalo.

Distraction and Unity

Lions are very disciplined animals. When they are hunting, they will work with a lot of unity and when the kill is made they all share in the eating. They are territorial animals and go to an extent of setting boundaries which they can go any extra mile to protect as a pride. Any intruders at any point are dealt with properly. On this receiving end are hyenas who often pose all the problems to lions during feasting of the kill as well as during hunting due to their scavenging nature. If one lion makes a kill, a group of hyenas can drive it away and feast on the kill instead. This has made hyenas the first enemy of lions for ages now.

It is for this reason that you will find a lot of destruction on the path of hunting lions. They will kill hyenas and their young ones even if they wouldn’t eat them. The very simple fact that the hyenas are their greatest headache is the simple fact for them to drink from their wrath. Hyenas on the other hand kill any cabs they find on their own in revenge. Unity is the only weapon the lions use against the hyenas when it comes to protecting their young ones and kill.

It is perhaps high time we killed our distractions and get a sense of the direction we are going and the ground we are threading. Distraction can be very harmful.

Within the path of a pride of lions are traces of successful hunts and distraction kills. In unity, the lions understand that success is very sure no wonder they will in most cases be existing in groups as opposed to individuals.

If only we could learn to exist in unity, most of the problems we see and undergo could not be there. Mahatma Gandhi remarked, “The greatest test for humanity is our ability to exist in unity amid our diversity.” Maybe we first need to master the art of pooling our resources together, learn to be patient and get ourselves focused on being of service to humanity. Only then can we pass Mahatma Gandhi’s test. Perhaps to be of help to us are these lessons from lions with their tactful and successful hunts.


Copyright @ 2018.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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