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Sonya Patullo

Guest contributor

Sonya is a traveler and human experience storyteller who was born in the desert of central Australia, grew up in the tropics of The Whitsundays, and currently lives in New Jersey, USA.

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on Lion Pride Try to Eat a Pangolin ~ Long Live the Pangolin

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Sonya what an incredible experience. We always say to the ranger that we want to see a pangolin, knowing that to see one is just about impossible. To see lions with a pangolin is amazing.

It was an incredible experience, not one I’ll soon forget. And in the future I won’t be shy about my requests! 🙂

Senior Digital Ranger

What a great story!


I agree completely.

Hi Sonya. This is an incredible experience indeed! Good thing you have the photos to prove it! Those Pangolin scales must be so VERY hard and strong to withstand a lion’s jaws! Cheers for the little Pangolin!! Wendy M

Wendy, you are right, it was an incredible experience. And I was so excited that I was shaking and had a lot of trouble working my camera!
(Last year on a visit to Londolozi I saw two porcupines in the middle of the night and failed to capture them. This time I was determined to bring back the evidence!)

Sonya – what a great story – a lion trying to eat a pangolin!🤗

Thanks Joan, it was an amazing experience!

I have never seen a pangolin – hope I see one on my next visit to Londolozi!

Fingers crossed the little guy got away!

All signs pointed to him getting away, but yes, definitely fingers crossed for the little guy!

Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Fabulous!

Yes, once in a lifetime. I can not imagine getting to experience anything quite so extraordinary again!

How fantastic!!! A memory that will stay with you forever. You should buy yourself a silver pangolin pendant from Patrick Mavros. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to the real thing!

Oh thanks for that suggestion Peggy! I’ll look into the pendant. I’ve already arranged for a photography print for my wall, too, to remind of this rare encounter. 🙂

First may I say you are a great story teller, Sonya, as it seemed we shared the same seat while viewing an rare and unforgettable moment in the wild. But an elusive Pangolin being passed around among lions belongs in the “you may never see this again” category. Your images were clear and detailed….proof that this wasn’t a tall tale. Mrisho and Tshepo have an exceptional story to tell other guests and some staff members might be momentarily jealous. What a way to end your trip to Londolozi! My thanks for your blog entry.

Thank you Joanne, it was truly unforgettable. Mrisho and Tshepo are brilliant in my eyes.


I agree!

I do hope the lions gave up! What a fabulous experience to actually see a pangolin. The scene reminds when you came across a group of young lions trying to figure how to eat a porcupine the porcupine won that one also. Bravo to the pangolin. Victoria

All indications point to the lions giving up. They actually got bored with the effort while we were still watching them. The next morning when we visited the location we found no evidence of them being successful.

Without a doubt, a truly unusual sighting. The pangolin alone would have been unique but to see it attacked by a lion would be amazing! A one-of-a-kind photo op!!!

Agreed. It’s been a few weeks and I’m still stunned. I printed the photo and put in on my wall as soon as I got home. I just walk by all day, being continuously amazed by this unusual sighting and the fact that I actually managed to get a photo!

What an amazing experience you had. It’s always thrilling to observe lions , but to find them engaging in “pass, roll or chew the Pangolin” is beyond any safari participant’s dream. Right place, right time for you and your ranger/tracker. I’ve yet to see an aardvark or Pangolin so they’re on my wish list for my return visit to Londolozi next year. Thanks for sharing!!

Wishing you the best of pangolin/aardvark sighting luck for your return trip next year! I agree, this was a highly unlikely viewing and I feel so grateful to have been in the right place and at the right time. It was an incredible day.

Incredible sighting!!! Though the pangolin almost always wins in these scenarios!!

I was very happy to see first hand that to be true!

Digital Ranger

Thank you Sonya for sharing your incredible story! Your words and photos really made the siting come alive – I felt as if I were there – the next best thing to actually being there! Thanks again!

You’re welcome Pam! I’m so happy I got to share this with people.

Great story Sonya! We are always challenging our rangers to find one, and they always just laugh! Congratulations!

Yes, now I know to ask for the moon! Ha!

Double whammy awesome sighting!

It really was!

WOW!! We have never had the experience of seeing a pangolin in all our visits to Londolozi ! I am jealous. We an amazing drive! Victoria

I’m hopeful that many more Pangolin sightings will be forthcoming! It really was an incredible day.

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