Fact Check

Are These Lions Huddled in the Shade of an Airplane Wing?

"You start calculating the distance to the plane door...and wonder...'Do I feel lucky today?'"

Published Mar 13, 2005

Image Via Shutterstock
Photograph shows lions resting in the shade of an airplane's wing.

We can't vouch that the backstory for these photographs is exactly as described, but the pictures themselves are real.


You are a South African bush pilot. You fly in some critical medical supplies, enjoy a quick lunch at the hospital.

It's a stifling 100 degrees in the shade and you're eager to get back up to the cool, high blue yonder.

On the way back to your plane, you discover that the only bit of shade, within 1 mile, has become very popular . . . You start calculating the distance to the plane door . . and wonder . . .

"Do I feel lucky today?"

Click photo to enlarge

Lions will often take the opportunity to avail themselves of any source of shade (which is usually hard to come by in the savannah), and in this case even the sliver of shade provided by a small plane's wing sufficed.

The plane pictured belongs to Blue Sky Aviation, which operates out of Kenya.

Here's another picture from the same sequence:



Torpy, Bill.   "Town Eats up Tale of 'Hogzilla.'"     The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.   30 July 2004.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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