Amputated Lion Makes Record-Breaking Swim Across Deadly Waters: REPORT

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Jacob, a 10-year-old Ugandan amputated lion, broke a record, along with his brother, by swimming an estimated 1.5 kilometers to cross a channel infested with predators at night, CBS News reported Wednesday.

Jacob, prior to his record-breaking swim, had already survived a buffalo goring him, his family suffering a poisoning and a poaching attempt that left the African lion a three-legged amputee, Alexander Braczkowski, said, the outlet reported. Braczkowski is reportedly a Griffith University Centre for Planetary Health and Food Security researcher.

The lion’s swim was observed and documented in a study by researchers reportedly led by members from Griffith University in Australia and Northern Arizona University. The study was published in the academic journal Ecology and Evolution. (RELATED: REPORT: 13-Year-Old Running Away From Wasp At Pool Ends Up Paralyzed)

The particular waterway the lions crossed has “the biggest population of hippos and numerous crocodiles in the whole world,” according to Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park. Most lions who attempt the journey quit after swimming 10 to a hundred meters out and some attempts have proven deadly due to crocodile attacks, CBS News reported.

Braczkowski said it was likely that the two brave lions elected to swim across in search of females, the outlet reported. “Competition for lionesses in the park is fierce and they lost a fight for female affection in the hours leading up to the swim,” Braczkowski reportedly said. “[I]t’s likely the duo mounted the risky journey to get to the females on the other side of the channel.”

Braczkowski called Jacob “a cat with nine lives” and said he would “bet all my belongings that we are looking at Africa’s most resilient lion,” according to the outlet.

“His swim, across a channel filled with high densities of hippos and crocodiles, is a record-breaker and is a truly amazing show of resilience in the face of such risk,” the researcher stated, CBS News reported.

Braczkowski led an extensive study on African lions and other animals living in Ugandan National Parks and his team monitored the lion’s faithful swim with high-definition heat-detection cameras via drones, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.