As we shared this past weekend, we have implemented a COVID-19 protocol that means we are practicing social distancing even in team meetings and are self-isolating a lot at camp. Here are some reflections from our Lion Monitoring Manager, Philip J. Briggs from his tent at the Lion Guardians Camp.
Lions are social animals: they live in large family groups and enjoy close contact with others. Sound familiar? I don’t want to anthropomorphize the lion by any means, but let’s take a leaf out of their book on this occasion.
Although highly social, lions do often go into solitary isolation. Sometimes this is of their own choosing and other times it’s forced due to external pressures. One thing that we’ve observed with lions who do this, no matter how long their solitude lasts, they usually reemerge stronger. Whilst in isolation they are forced to make their own decisions, trust their instincts, hone new skills, adapt to their environment, and grow as an individual that all builds their character and resilience.
The result is that when they do connect with their species again, they are stronger for it.
During this time of global uncertainty, we can find strength in examples of nature’s ability to adapt and bounce back stronger no matter what is thrown at it, and I’m reminded of lions like Nalotu. Nalotu was forced out of her family when very young and spent over a year by herself. Although there were times when she looked to be near her end, she gradually accepted her solitude and grew into herself. When she was finally able to reconnect with her family, she held her own and became an integral part of her pride.
If you are struggling in quarantine by yourself, we at Lion Guardians urge you to find the lion inside you and come back to the world a stronger more rounded person.