About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills were well developed, and he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team as a result. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the photographic skills ...

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31 Comments

on Does Fear Linger?

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Alejandro Mora
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“AMatimba Male lion probably feels fear when three Majingilanes are charging at him.” James Tyrrell at his best.

Pretty boy Mapogo
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“A Matimba Male Lion probably feels fear when three Majingilanes are charging at him.” Lmao

bingo
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lol lol lol this is satire right majingilane are synonymous with cowardice

Aaron A
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Any Matimba fan reading this would be pissed.

Juan Lopez
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A Majingilane Male Lion would alsoprobably feels fear when Two Matimbas are charging at him.

Guido,Dina
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I suppose it is more their instinct and also by learning that their behaviour can be influenced.
But I’m sure that they have more emotions than we suspect (sadness for sure )

sasha
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A matimba lion doesnt feels as much fear as do five majingilane from one matimba

bingo
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matimba dont fear anyone majingilane are the known cowards

Callum Wright
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Fear and emotions exist in animals to some extinct. But fear and stress are most obvious of all.
If Matimbas could read this, they would probably be showing less fear next time…

Mike Ryan
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As a youngster the Leopard would have been left alone for long periods of time and might well be used to the situation. Therefore in the knowledge that the mother would find it. Yes it would be cautious. dogs left alone fret others take it in their stride so I don’t think you can generalise. Anxiety suggests worry which is a different state to caution. Are animals capable of that deep thought ? My penny worth.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Mike, thanks for the comment.
I guess I did open up a can of worms here, especially if we get into the semantics of the thing.
I do agree that there probably is a difference between different individuals and their states of feeling. Maybe something to do with a level of experience?
It does almost certainly boil down to the amount of thought an animal is capable of…
Hope you are all well!

Sheryl Schroeder
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I find it intolerable when people say that we anthropomorphize animals and that they do not have emotions. It is clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they DO have emotions. We have all seen the elephants mourn, dogs overjoyed at the return of their people, a rescued cat feeling grateful after realizing they are safe… leopard cubs crying for their mother… the intense look of rigid fear when a prey animal is being hunted by a pride of lions… this is irrefutable. Yes, animals have emotions and feelings, they experience joy, play, love, fear and grief. It may not look like ours, but they do have emotion. We are not anthropomorphizing them to say this.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Sheryl, thanks for the comments. I do agree with what you’re saying.
Animals definitely feel certain things; the problem comes when we ascribe the same emotions that we imagine we would feel in the same situation the animal is in… What you say is true in your second last sentence; “It may not look like ours, but they do have emotion”. That is most certainly true.
I guess the true beauty of it is we can’t really say for sure exactly what they are feeling or thinking. Maybe assuming they would feel the same way we as humans would feel about a certain situation helps us make more of a connection with them?
What do you think?

Madeleine Poulin
Member
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Thanks for this interesting post. You are right James. Everytime our cats and dogs weren’t back home at night our children and us worried about what could happen to them. We humans were anxious but our skilfull animals were not!

Nice pictures of the Nkoveni female, by the way.

Denise Michaels
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I read the Londolozi blog daily, it is something like a mediation to me, allowing myself to take part in nature while living in a big city currently. I agree with what you are hypothisizing about the animals and question if anxiety may serve a person to keep them from getting in a fearful position. Meaning, is worrying about something in advance in some small way a preventive measure to being put in a fearful position? Or it anxiety purely a waste of energy and a drain on the human condition? Perhaps it needs to be filed in the “I can’t be sure file?
Hope to one day get to Londolizi.
My Best

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

HI Denise,
I like your line about worrying being a preventative measure. Getting into the nitty-gritty of it we could debate on how much of that supposed worry is a direct result of current circumstance or foresight. It certainly makes for an interesting discussion…

Jill Larone
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Interesting and thought provoking, James. As humans, we can’t imagine that they aren’t anxious and stressed, but I guess it is something we will never really know. It would be nice to think that they live their lives contentantly and deal with fear and anxiety at the moment it occurs.

Alexandra Jonson
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Matimbas fear none. They are brave lions. Long live my boys.

Ammar
Member
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I was not reading this reading. But realized it is written by james, i need to have a look. What i learned is you don’t feel when you are challenged by one, you only feel fear when you are charged by three.

Messileftfoot
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Moral of the article – Matimbas fear Majingilanes.

Matt Davidson
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If Matimbas feared majingilanes, they wouldn’t have challenged them for territory.

Assad Malik
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What he should have said is that Majingilanes live in fear everyday. any time there is a slight hint of other male lion s, they are afraid and have get the gang together because they are afraid to go out there one or two at a time. And why would Matimba ever fear the Majingilane when Hairy Belly proved his physical superiority over Dark mane decisively in a fight that almost killed DM.

bingo
Member
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This was a wonderful satire though matimba being afraid of well known cowards majingilanes great piece of writing that’s why dm nearly lost his life great article

Fursan Syed
Member
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Majingilanes are well known cowards. the article more fit on majingilanes. it had to be written on majingilanes back in 2010. when they ran away from Mr T , Makhulu and Dreadlocks in Elephant Plains

Anil Bakshi
Member
Guest

Fears are instruments of both learning and teaching. Proportionate elements of fears have strong bearings on the survival as well as struggle. Old episodes stored in the brain prepare both humans/animals on the next potential threat. Anxiety on the other hand exhibits an unprepared, inefficient or inadequately placed brain exploring shortcuts. Anxiety is prominent in humans as their nurturing is secure, soft and stretched over long period of time. James a very good article….. always look forward to your posts!!!!! Regards

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Anil,
Thanks for the comments!

Cindy Hamilton
Member
Guest

Excellent article James, as always, you write so well and provoke us all to think about the subject. Interesting to read the responses to it and the varying opinions as to animals ’emotions’. A really amazing book has recently been published about animal emotions, which is well worth reading for those who wish to explore this further, called ‘Beyond Words, What Animals Think’, by Carl Safina. a rigorously scientific work. in which he states that “…even worms exhibit great behavioral sophistication.”. Darwin wrote that after a lifetime of studying earthworms that they ‘deserve to be called intelligent”!. …makes you think!!

MJ
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Hahahahahaha, we have our own Matimba vs Majingilane war right here in the comments.. I find both of them to be fabulous examples of a strong coalition. I am sad that both coalitions are nearing the twilight of their years.. They have given us much joy and excitement over the years.. Thank you James, I do believe that animals feel emotion, but only up to the point where it will not interfere with their survival.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi MJ,
Indeed, very sad to have to accept that neither coalition will be around forever. But that’s the nature of the bush, and who knows who will step up to fill the void they leave…

bingo
Member
Guest

there is no war because matimbas are billion times better than cowards majingialanes the right words should have been four majingilanes feel fear from one matimba its really shameful that this was even written get over the majingilanes and accept the kings of londolozi matimbas stop longing for cowards people are interested in matimbas not cowards

Fen Williams
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There is no doubt in my mind that these beautiful animals experience the sensation that we interpret as emotion. But they don’t interpret. And I think this is the reason that seeing these animals and watching them live their lives brings me such pleasure. Have you ever experienced emotion without thought? Yes, very powerful. So I want to keep my interpretation of emotion in these animals very much to myself so that my thoughts do not diminish in them that power so necessary for survival.

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