Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Suburban Lions Present a Conundrum

 Biology                                                 Spencer Cox
Current Events                                        9/10/12

The article I chose to read was about how a lion and two of her cubs escaped into the suburbs of Kenya for four months where they survived and remained remarkably fit.  When the Kenyan wild life rangers finally were contacted by one of the residents about one of the lions and how it and its cubs had been found in his backyard by his dog, they quickly came to deal with the situation.  Very little is known about how lions act in suburban environments because usually once they have either wandered into a residential area or escaped there from their protected reserve they usually are killed quickly by vehicles.  However this time around a great deal of information was gathered on how these animals act in suburban environments due to the way that the animals weight had increased and what it had been eating showed how it had survived in the suburbs.  The article then goes on to talk about how lions are an important part of the wildlife in Africa as they bring in large amounts of money from safari tours and tourists.  Many scientists and people were amazed that the lion was able to survive in an urban environment for such a long period of time and the fact that the lion also remained in good health.

The information from this article affects my life particularly because I would have never thought a lion would be able to survive in possibly one of the most dangerous places for and not only survive but thrive for a period of four months before it was finally noticed.  Personally if a lion was walking around my neighborhood I would notice pretty fast and I'm sure everyone else would to.  I have always been interested in lions ever since I first saw them at the zoo when I was little.  I always wondered how they would live it they had to be around humans constantly except they weren't in a closed environment like they are in a zoo.  I never thought that a lion would go to such a dangerous area once it had escaped its already secured habitat.  I would expect it to instead go back into the wild rather than go into an area that would have even more people in it following them and trying to catch them.

I felt that the article could have done a better job of explaining where the lions were originally from and what they did while they were in the suburbs and what they ate while they were there and if they ever made contact with people before they were caught.  Although the article did miss these key and important points I still found it to be an amazing in the knowledge and depth that it went into when talking about how the animals managed to survive in this urban environment while others had been unable to before them.      


  1. This review by Spencer Cox on the article "Suburban Lions Present A Conundrum" was done very well. The article and the review are interesting and well written. His summary was able to convey the article’s key points in a clear and concise manner, allowing the reader to get the essence of the article by reading the summary. Spencer did a very good job at connecting the article to his own experience and interest in lions at the zoo. We have all wondered about how a lion would react living in an environment with humans, except not being confined in a cage. Spencer also brought up good points on how the article could have been made better. The writer should have explained how the lion acted in suburbia. The article was very interesting. I found it impressive how the lion was so well nourished in the suburban environment. A lion, being a carnivore and a predator, relies on its prey to survive. In suburbia, the only prey is maybe domestic animals, rats and squirrels. There is no mention of these incidents. How would a lion be able to survive? As Spencer pointed out, the author should have encountered this part better. Another very interesting point is how the lion cannot just be placed back in the wild. Having been living in a completely different environment for many months, the lion will have trouble reverting back to a different lifestyle. Also, the other lions will not accept them back into their "society," since they are very territorial, therefore forcing the lion back to suburbia. Although Spencer may have written his summary very well and brought up all points, he could work on maybe reducing the amount of parts of the article spoken about. However, by doing this, he discussed all the details of the article, which is a plus for someone who just wants to read the review and not the lengthy article. Overall, Spencer brought a very interesting article and wrote the review in a way that we can all relate to.

  2. I enjoyed reading this article a lot. One thing I liked about Spencer’s review was that he first introduced the topic, and gave us an overview of what happened. This was helpful because when I was reading I had an overview from the start which kept me from being totally confused. I also liked how he linked this to his own life. I thought it was important for him to say that he has always been interested in lions, which shows that he has been thinking about them for a long time. I thought the fact that he has thought about how lions would survive in other environments in the past and then he reads an article about exactly that was pretty interesting. The final thing that I enjoyed about Spencer's review was that he mentioned some significant things at the end, that I had actually thought about before reading the ending of his review. I think these are some important points on why Spencer did a good job in writing this up. I am actually also very interested in this topic. I always wonder about how animals would manage if they were put in a habitat that is unnatural for them. I was surprised by the 4 months that the lions survived in the suburbs. This is obviously a shockingly long time period for them to survive as a result of running away from their natural habitat. One thing that Spencer could improve in his article was that he could maybe watch out for run-ons, because some sentences he had some really good ideas, but the sentences were a little bit mixed up and I got confused. But overall I think he did a really good job on his current events report, which I was very interested in.

  3. I thought that Spencer did a great job on his review. He wrote an excellent overview of a long article. I really liked how he summarized the article’s key points and kept the reader interested throughout. Another thing I liked was how he gave his opinion of the article. For example, he says that he would never have thought that a lion could be able to survive and thrive in the suburbs for four months without being noticed. Also, how he connected the article to his own life, by saying that he had always had an interest in lions since he first saw them at the zoo. This made it clear that he truly has an interest in the topic of this article. A final thing I liked about his review was how he brought up a good point, stating that the author of this article should have explained where the lions were originally from and how they survived in the suburbs for those four months. These are key points and definitely should have been addressed, as Spencer suggests. From reading this article and Spencer’s review, I learned that the African lion is listed as threatened, with only 20,000 to 40,000 wild lions remaining, in just 20% of the historical range of the species. Another thing I learned is that there is very little information known about how lions behave in suburban environments since often times after they roam into a residential area or escape there from their protected reserve they frequently get killed quickly by vehicles. One suggestion that I think would make this review even better would be to pay closer attention to grammar, as there were a few minor errors, and to work on transitioning sentences more. I do not have any other criticisms other than those minor issues. Overall, this review is very well written and I think the topic is one that would appeal to many people.

  4. I liked this article a lot and I really think that Spencer wrote a very good review. One thing that I like about his review was the summery. I felt that the summery was very well written, it hit all major key points and really helped me understand what the article was all about. Another thing that I liked was he choose an article that not only did he enjoy talking about, but also had a connection with, so it made reading the review much more enjoyable. Also I liked how he added his opinion about the article, this showed me that he really read it and had things he wanted to share in his review. The final thing I liked about his review was that he was that he brought up some good points about some problems with the article, like where the lions were actually from and how they were able to survive for four months in the suburbs. One thing that Spencer could improve on in his article his is grammar, because I saw a couple of minor errors, and a couple of run-on sentences. Other than those small thing I felt that he wrote a very good review that I believe most people would be interested in.