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Lions in the Water

You can lead a cat to water, but can you make him swim? Well when swimming is the only way to get to their next meal some big cats in Botswana have adapted to the life aquatic. Having once tried to give my cat a bath, I have the scratch marks to prove most cats...

You can lead a cat to water, but can you make him swim? Well when swimming is the only way to get to their next meal some big cats in Botswana have adapted to the life aquatic. Having once tried to give my cat a bath, I have the scratch marks to prove most cats have a real aversion to taking a dip, but these Botswana lions have learned to dog paddle their way across the rivers and wetlands of the Okavango Delta.

I recently spent a few days following the lions at #DubaPlains and filming their swimming and wading in the water. It was a scene I first filmed seven years ago and some of the cubs from that time are still splashing around today. They’ve also passed on their swimming ways to a new generation of lions. And when I traveled to #SelindaExplorers in Northern Botswana, I encountered another pride of lions who’ve adapted to living in a watery environment and added swimming to their hunting repertoire.

This week I talk about swimming lions and efforts to save big cats in Africa as part of Big Cat Week on my radio show, “National Geographic Weekend.”  Tune in and tune in to adventure.

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Meet the Author

Boyd Matson
Boyd Matson, in his work for National Geographic, has been bitten, scratched, or pooped on, and occasionally kissed by most of the creatures found at your local zoo. What he refers to as his job, others might describe as a career spent attending summer camp for adults. Currently Matson is the host of the weekly radio show, “National Geographic Weekend.” Conducting interviews from the studio and from the field, Matson connects with some of the greatest explorers and adventurers on the planet to transport listeners to the far corners of the world and to the hidden corners of their own backyards. Matson also writes about his experiencs in his monthly column, “Boyd Matson Unbound” for National Geographic Traveler magazine, produces videos for National Geographic.com, and serves as a spokesperson for the National Geographic Society.