Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 20/02/2012

Claws for Thought

Lion cub, originally uploaded by

There’s usually nothing more innocent than a new born but when the new born (well, 4 month old) is an Asiatic Lion Cub, and you get a peak at its already well formed claws and teeth.. innocence is the last thing you think of. In fact, the immediate thought is that reassuringly there’s a moat and thick thick glass separating the two of you. As you may know, most of the big cats (medium and small for that matter) have retractable claws so you don’t get to see them too often (it’s the same with your domestic cat, the only time you are witness to their sharp talons is when they decide they are going to settle down on your lap, and try and plump it up with their razor sharp nails – it’s quite a sobering experience when you are able to see one of their key hunting tools even if it is from a distance.

Of course, at this stage these cute little rascals aren’t fully aware of the lethal tools they have at their disposal and play happily as any other progeny though with slightly more adverse consequences if their play gets out of hand. I’m sure any of the crowd would love to pick up or stroke these gorgeous golden cubs and I know when happening upon a pride of 22 lionesses and their young, it was very tempting to try and reach out of the vehicle which of course would have been beyond fool hardy. I should explain the lions had brought about this rather idiotic idea as having watched mother and baby bonding for 20 minutes with such amazing signs of affection it was difficult to think of them as anything but soft and cuddly. That’s their plan you see – they PRETEND to be nice, pretend to be cute and just when you’ve let down your guard – they pounce…. crafty things these lions (other types of crafty cats are available *)

The Internet, as I’ve blogged about before, is such a wonderful source of information; of course, Dear Reader, as savvy as you are, you already to know this but sometimes it’s not the font of all knowledge it purports to be. As mentioned, the tripod collar/mount on my beloved 600mm prime lens has jammed. This component, whilst firmly fixed around the lens is not so deeply integrated into this highly expensive lens that I might not affect a repair myself – with the right instructions. With previous issues, a 5 minute search has provided the information, part numbers, detailed walk through and photos on resolving the specific issue – but try as I might, I still can’t find how to remove the collar. There are 4 allen key screws which bolt in part of the l-shaped mount but until I can see diagrams I’m not even picking up an allen key, let alone trying to undo them. It’s not like it’s my search criteria either – I’ve purposefully tried some completely different terms but still drawn a blank… all I can think is that this is not one of the regular issues with this lens (for that matter, there aren’t any other user pages detailing problems with this lens) – mind you, who’s going to admit they’ve managed to break a cough.. thousand pound lens!

* It’s back to the BBC impartiality – one day… one day I’ll get a call from them.



  1. really cute and of course excellent 🙂

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