Lions have adapted to hunt seals and seabirds in Namibia, study finds
The desert lions, which are found exclusively within the country’s Skeleton Coast region, are the only lions known to target marine life. Among the creatures they have been recorded eating are fur seals, flamingos and cormorants.
The conservationist Flip Stander, the author of the study published in the Namibian Journal of Environment, said the discovery showed the big cats have learned diet adaptability is key to survival in this unforgiving terrain.
The Skeleton Coast spans the coastal backbone of Namibia and is the driest place in sub-Saharan Africa, receiving as little as 5mm (0.2in) of rain a year. The desert lion’s usual prey of oryx and ostriches are thin on the ground there. The neighbouring ocean, however, is rich in life, sustaining nearly 1m Cape fur seals that breed on the shoreline, and a multitude of seabirds.