Lion hunting is one of the most dangerous types of hunting for a large predator
These days, the lions have diminished significantly. There are hardly more than 300 Asian (in India). True, there are much more of them in Africa. A curious fact: the Africans themselves forced to pay attention to the lions … the Europeans. Ironically, it was they who popularized the lions in many areas of the black continent. Thus, in the art of the peoples of Ghana, leopards relatively recently dominated, but after the appearance of Europeans in the country of Europeans, the images of spotted cats were replaced by lions.
In art, myths and fairy tales of the peoples of the world, the lion is given a place of honor – it is a symbol of the highest divine power, power and greatness. Remember the famous Egyptian sphinx with the body of a lion. The Egyptian goddess Sohmet (daughter of the bot of Ra) had the head of a lion. Lviv was depicted on the doors of ancient Greek palaces and tombs, Assyrian and Babylonian temples. In one of his incarnations, the Indian god Vishnu had the body of a lion. In ancient Egypt, in the symbolism of seals, the sphinx and the lion were often united by a single composition, and in mythology the lion was often identified with gods. So, some gods in a state of anger turned into lions. In the image of a lion Buddha repeatedly embodied. In one of the biblical legends royal anger is compared with a lion’s roar.
The royal hunt and image of a lion
The hunt for lions has always been considered the lot of brave and courageous people, and the hunt for them alone is an indisputable proof of personal courage. Pharaoh Amenhotep III (reigned ca. 1455-1419 BC) hunted with a bow and arrows. The Assyrian king Ashshurbanipal (669-633 BC) forever captured his fight with a lion with the following words: “I, Ashshurbanipal, the ruler of many nations, possessing powerful regal power, seized the lion by the tail and smashed his head with an ax”.
US President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) considered the hunt for lions “the queen among the sports of this sport.” More recently, a young man from the Masai tribe could be considered a man only after he was one-on-one (armed with a spear) defeating a lion.
Leo always terrified all living things. He was feared and respected. Even brave warriors borans, residents of Kenya, felt a sense of fear towards them. True, they had a special reason for this. They considered lions to be the spirits of people they had once killed. From the mighty roar of a hungry lion it really becomes creepy for people who are at a considerable distance from him. In most cases, lions grumble, growl a little, hiss and even meow. But when a lion wants to declare himself, for example, when he announces his victory over a victim, he does it perfectly. He tilts his head, arches his back, sucks in his stomach, and suddenly, with an exhalation, makes a sound of such strength that it can be heard for five miles, and from the ground a cloud of dust rises. But the great Scottish traveler David Livingstone (1813-1873) spoke of his roar like this: “A stupid ostrich makes a sound of almost the same volume.” In general, he was about the lions of low opinion and considered them even cowardly.
The image of the lion reeled, and then fell completely, when, after reading Joy Adamson’s Born Free, everyone saw that the lioness Elsa was just a sweet kitten. But then it’s time to remind you of a lion who recently lived in a Moscow apartment in the Berber family. As it is known, the matter ended tragically: one person died, another was crippled. This cruel lesson should not be forgotten: the lion is always a lion.
The famous literary hero Alphonse Daude (1840-1897) Tartarin from Tarascon spoke of the lions with respect: he believed that the lion was undoubtedly the king of beasts. True, the famous hunter John Hunter did not recognize him as king. And you can trust him: for his life, Hunter killed 1500 lions!
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And yet in the old days, the lion was treated with respect, and even today, experts consider him one of the smartest among wild animals. Mind, strength, courage, vigilance, finally a noble posture served to what in the past quite often called kings and heroes of many mythological characters as a lion.
In China, the lions have never been found, but even there they served as one of the symbols of power. Their stone sculptures stood at the entrances to Buddhist temples. It was also believed that the image of a lion brings luck and happiness. In some parts of Africa, for a long time it was believed that village sorcerers could turn into lions, and the Bushmen were always convinced that a lion could turn into a human being. In the not too distant past, the leaders of the East African tribes fed the lion-hearted heart of their sons in the hope of making them strong and brave. In some African nations, kings were considered relatives of lions. In one of the Sudanese legends the lioness even raised the son of the king, dare with her lion cub.
It is said that the lion received his title of king of beasts, because he even looks at the sun without blinking.