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Lion tales

Canada Charan Singh Offline
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Hi All,

There are instances which we humans find astonishing and are left in awe, these instances becomes tales and legends.
Legends are what attaches us with these animals as we try to see parallels in our lives.

These legends gives us insights of the majestic and mysterious animal lives, and their behaviour. 

This forum is about the tales & legends of lions.

Please share the source of information, and as much detail as possible.


Thanks
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Canada Charan Singh Offline
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https://blog.londolozi.com/2015/08/17/li...piri-male/

Aug 17, 2015





couple of weeks ago we ran a post that looked at the resurgence of the hyena population on Londolozi, and how this was going to have a knock-on effect on the other predators in the area, in particular the lions.
In this post we mentioned a sighting in which two of the Sparta lionesses took down a wildebeest and were robbed that evening by the local hyena clan, who in turn were robbed by one of the Matshipiri male lions.
The story did not end there.
Let me rewind to that morning. I’ll pass briefly over the Tsalala pride, who had an altercation with the hyena clan at dawn and then moved away for the day. I’ll come instead to the main and unusual event of the pre-noon saga; the return of the Majingilane. The roars of one of the Matshipiri males had permeated the night air the evening before and had obviously been heard by attentive ears in the west. Silently the Majingilane had made their approach, and we had had no indication that they were in the vicinity as they made their way on padded paws.. Were it not for a radio call from one of our staff member’s en route to a bush breakfast who happened to bump into them, we may never have known they were there.
Daniel Buys moved in after the radio call and found them quickly; the scar-nosed, hip-scar and missing-canine members of the mighty coalition. Absent was the dark-maned male, but reports from lodges in the west was that he was mating with a member of the Ottawa pride. The three Majingilane had clearly come back east to put on a bold front for the benefit of the Mathsipiri males(s). Although rare visitors to Londolozi these days, it was clear from their arrival that they still viewed these central areas of the Sabi Sands as their undisputed domain.
As can happen with lions, the morning resulted in anticlimax, and the three males settled down to sleep the day away, as did the Sparta females with their kill, the Tsalala pride, the Matshipiri male and an unknown young male who had wandered in from the northern side of the river, who we believed to be possibly a member of the Mhangeni pride. All of these lions were within a circle of one kilometre radius, and we suspected that come evening, something had to happen.
It did.
The Sparta pride were attacked first.

*This image is copyright of its original author


The hyena clan that had chased off the Tsalala pride in the morning moved in as evening fell and forced the lionesses off their wildebeest kill. Two lionesses were no match for the 14 hyenas that they were up against, and the beleaguered pride were forced to retreat. The whoops of the hyena clan as they gorged themselves on their prize carried to where the Mathsipiri male was rousing himself, and before long he had moved in to scatter the clan and claim the kill for his own. Ranger Gregory Pingo and a few other staff members had taken a vehicle out to see the possible interaction and arrived on the scene just as the Matshipiri male settled down to feed. They had bumped into the Majingilane on their way to the kill and had left them walking into the darkness, knowing that the wildebeest kill was where the action would be. We arrived at the kill shortly afterwards, and things were relatively peaceful as the male lion fed contentedly, ignoring the few remaining hyenas sneaking around.
Our main aim was to see the Majingilane, as my guests had viewed them every year since their (the coalition’s) arrival at Londolozi, and we didn’t want to miss this rare opportunity. We had a hard task however, as we now had to find them in the darkness, and although we suspected otherwise, we knew they could be long gone. A few fruitless circuits about the area turned up nothing, and we were about to return to camp when Greg’s voice came over the radio that they had found the three males, and they were barely 100m from where the Matshipiri male was feeding and still blissfully unaware of the impending threat.
Needless to say, we raced back to the scene, heading straight to the Matshipiri male, who the Majingilane were by now steadily approaching.
Just as we do when lions or leopards are hunting at night, both vehicles went lights down, as we don’t like to impact natural behaviour in any way. A faint moon illuminated where the Mathsipiri male continued to feed. Apart from the noise of him eating, all was eerily quiet.
Suddenly his head shot up, ears pointedly fixed to the west, the direction the Majingilane were lying in. Possessing far superior hearing and vision to any human, he had heard and subsequently spotted the danger in time, and he immediately got up and slunk quickly and silently off into the darkness. Within less than a minute the three Majingilane had arrived at the kill, and predicting another anticlimax, we all expected them to settle down to feed. Not so. The Scar-nosed male arrived first, and the instant he cut the scent of the Matshipiri male, he turned and broke into a run. Followed by the male with the missing canine, both males were soon at a full canter, roaring their anger at the intrusion of the foreign male. It was all we could do to keep up as they continued at a run, moving on and on through the bush, across drainage lines, through thickets, foregoing the ease of movement that game paths or dirt roads would offer and staying like bloodhounds on the scent trail of the Matshipiri male, roaring continuously.
It’s impossible to convey the excitement of such an evening in words, or even in video. The bouncing and rattling of the Land Rover, the constant bellowing of the lions as they move at speed, the unknown whereabouts of the male they are chasing, running desperately ahead of them, hearing his fate bearing down relentlessly from behind, and all of this taking place in complete darkness, with only the headlights and the spotlight beam providing scant illumination; all of these combine to produce an intoxicating cocktail of adrenalin and whatever else might be flowing through your system.
The chase had gone on for over two kilometres when the two Majingilane slowed to a walk (the hip-scar male had not joined the chase). Switching off our engines to listen, we could hear not one, but two sets of answering roars reverberating out of the thickets only a few hundred metres away; the Matshipiri male had clearly reunited with his brother! Suddenly finding themselves far out of their usual stomping grounds (this was the furthest east they had travelled in over a year), and faced with an enemy of unknown strength, the two Majingilane decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and turned quickly to trot back the way they had come, the defiant roars of the Matshipiri males sounding behind them.
They maintained the pace all the way back to where the hip-scar male was feeding on the wildebeest kill. Although the initial instinct from all on our vehicle was to admonish him for not joining in the chase, we realised that had he not stayed with the kill, the hyenas would have moved in and devoured it within minutes, and he had therefore saved a meal for him and his coalition-mates.

My take on the day’s events is simple: The Majingilane responded instinctively to the roars of an intruding male (Matshipiri), which they may not have done had they heard both Matshipiri males together. Sensing his vulnerability, they moved in silently over the course of a night and the next evening, but were just too slow to catch him unawares. Luckily for the Matshipiri male, he had a clear line of sight to where the Majingilane were advancing from, enabling him to sneak away in time, thereby escaping at the very least a severe mauling but quite possibly death. Upon scenting him, two of the Majingilane immediately gave chase, with the third one remaining behind to guard their newly acquired wildebeest carcass and retain control of the meal. After being chased for a substantial distance, the Matshipiri male reunited with his brother, effectively doubling the force facing the Majingilane. Upon their reunion, the Matshipiri males immediately began roaring, which essentially amounted to a direct challenge to the Majingilane. Now finding themselves in a two-on-two situation, the chasing Majingilane realised they were far from home, without help and potentially outmatched. They immediately retreated, stopping to feed once they reached the wildebeest carcass once more.
Exactly what happened later that night I cannot say, as we headed home after this. All we know is that the Majingilane had disappeared back over our western boundary by the following morning, and the Matshipiri males were nowhere to be found. Tracks of male lions were everywhere. I strongly suspect that the reunited Matshipiri males may have advanced towards where the Majingilane were feeding, and the experience of the Majingilane led them to shun an aggressive encounter and move back to the safety of their own secure territory.

*This image is copyright of its original author


The Majingilane are ageing steadily, yet on this evening displayed the tactical superiority which has kept them in firm control for so many years. Advancing when they have the upper hand and retreating when the tables turn. It is not just brute strength and numbers that determine the victors when it comes to Lion Warfare, but clearly an innate understanding of which strategies to employ and when.
The Majingilane. Still a force to be reckoned with.
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Poland Potato Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-09-2019, 11:49 PM by Potato )

https://www.lionsands.com/2018/04/two-co...oalitions/

5 April 2018

Southern Avoca vs Tsalala

If you’ve been following our lion stories, you’ll know that their dynamics are currently in a state of flux. Prides and coalitions are moving in and out of Lion Sands Game Reserve. We don’t have a dominant coalition at the moment, but top contenders on the reserve are the three Tsalala Males and two Avoca Males.
The Tsalala Males are a group of relatively young lions (nearly five years old), who come from the central Sabi Sand, and have been around Lion Sands Sabi Sand for a few years now. While they have numbers on their side, they are still inexperienced. It could be another few years before they are in their prime and ready to take over this prized territory.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The Avoca Males coalition began consistently turning up at Lion Sands Sabi Sand a few weeks ago. They have made it known they are also interested in dominating this area, and have been seen patrolling and scent marking, and heard vocalizing. They are slightly older than the Tsalalas (over five years old) and also appear big for their age – with the confidence to go along with it! Perhaps that will be enough for them to fend off the competition.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Over the past 10 days, we have also had several sightings of the Tsalala Males mating with the Eyrefield Lionesses. They stuck around for a few days, together on a zebra kill, and mated during that time. In the past, the Eyrefield Lionesses have been seen mating with all three of the Tsalala Males – a strategy lionesses use to confuse paternity.

We got our hopes up that the Eyrefields would now make Lion Sands their new home, especially in the absence of the Southern Pride of lionesses. The Eyrefields have a history going back over four decades in Sabi Sand. Unfortunately for them, like the Southern Pride, they went through a recent decimation. This caused them to abandon their usual stamping ground, which explains their presence at Lion Sands now that there is a territory available.

However, the hope of a stable near-future for the Tsalala Males and Eyrefield lionesses was short-lived. On 26 March, the guides at Lion Sands Kruger National Park witnessed the unpleasant aftermath of a territorial dispute between the Tsalala and Avoca Males that morning. Despite the Tsalalas having numbers on their side, the Avocas severely injured one of their lions. The guides later saw him in a bad condition, with what appeared to be injuries to his spine. We weren’t able to relocate him for several days afterwards, so were unsure of the extent of his wounds.
Two Tsalala Males were seen together a few days later, moving from Lion Sands Kruger National Park back into Lion Sands Sabi Sand, with no sign of the third. We were worried that their injured brother might not have made it. Thankfully, on 1 April, all three males were seen together, although not in top condition. They will need to hunt soon and recover quickly if they are going to maintain a presence in this area.
After the fight between the coalitions, the Avoca Males wasted no time in finding the Eyrefields lionesses again. They were spotted together, with one lioness displaying coy behaviour towards one of the males. We didn’t see them mate, although it is likely they had been. If these lionesses hold back from mating, it would be because they are waiting to see if these males are strong enough to defend the territory and their future offspring.
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Canada Charan Singh Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-10-2019, 09:17 PM by sanjay Edit Reason: corrected the formating )

Lions showing a rare side of theirs.

https://www.lionsands.com/2018/08/all-to...eni-lions/

Aug 13, 2018


If you’ve been on safari, you’ll likely have heard your guide say something along the lines of: “Animals don’t read books,” as they try to explain some out of the ordinary behaviour. A recent lion sighting on the Sand River was one such instance where this was the only thing to be said about what was happening.
Lion dynamics at Lion Sands and its surrounding areas are in flux. The Avoca males’ recent run-in with the Charleston males resulted in the former being chased off the reserve and sightings halting for a few days. So when word of the Mangheni lions came on 7 August, there was great excitement. This is a nomadic coalition of sub-adult males who were excommunicated from their pride in the Sabi Sands a few months ago.
Arriving in the area where the lions were spotted, we got a lot more than we bargained for. The first view revealed one large male lion, with a full belly, spread across the road and, what looked like, four female lions feeding on a buffalo carcass in the reeds behind him. This isn’t at all what we were expecting. We waited patiently for the male to move into the reeds, before creeping towards the carcass for a better look.
Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the other lions were actually three sub-adult, males from the Mangheni pride and one Eyrefield lioness – feeding together! The other Avoca male, looking well fed, was also present, obviously having eaten his fill before the others joined in. This behaviour – in particular, the large Avoca males allowing the Manghenis to feed on the same carcass – is certainly not the norm.
We watched in amazement the interaction taking place before us and trying, unsuccessfully, to make sense of this strange behaviour. Perhaps the young lions had attempted taking down the buffalo, only to have the Avocas rush in and finish the job. Or maybe, because of their poor condition and submissive behaviour, the Avocas didn’t feel threatened by them and it wasn’t worth risking an injury to chase them away.
The question of what exactly led to this gathering of lions has left us guides scratching our heads. We’ll probably never know, but it certainly provided an extraordinary sighting. There are undoubtedly interesting times ahead for the lions of Lion Sands Game Reserve and its surrounds.
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United States Pckts Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-10-2019, 08:27 PM by Pckts )

Keep up the good work, I think this thread is a great idea.
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Poland Potato Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-19-2019, 05:02 AM by Potato )

https://blog.londolozi.com/2011/06/14/li...e-sadness/

14 June 2011

Majingilanes killing first of the 5 Salati males

The Majingilane Coalition and the Southern Pride were close to each other. Both prides lying unaware of each other’s presence a mere 900 meters apart, we knew we were in for a potential evening showdown as dusk settled in. First the Southern Pride yawned, stretched and then rose to begin walking east into Majingilane territory. Moments later the radio crackled – the Majingilane Coalition were now also active and beginning their routine patrol…

The sound of impala alarming stopped the Southern Pride in their tracks. Realizing the impala weren’t alarming at them they stared into the darkness to see the shape of a leopard walking down the road. The unsuspecting Nottens female froze upon seeing the lions, but quickly fled up a nearby Marula tree when the Southern Pride came chasing after her. Interest was lost quickly and the pride carried on eastwards.


*This image is copyright of its original author


Meanwhile, the Majingilanes had also heard the impala alarming and quickened their pace to investigate from the opposite direction. The three males stood on the crest of the road, sniffing the air, panting misty breaths of menace as the Southern Pride continued walking straight towards them, unaware. Then with stiffening bodies, the two prides saw each other and froze still.


*This image is copyright of its original author


A quick glimpse left and right, tails straightening, the Southern Pride knew they were in trouble and spun around to sprint west back down the road. The Majingilane Coalition began their chase in hot pursuit, roaring incessantly at full pace. Each of the lions disappeared as they broke through the bush in full flight whilst we desperately tried to keep up.

Suddenly we heard the unmistakable bellows of a fight, in the bush to our west. We ventured in and found what we had feared: the 3 Majingilane males sat panting next to the badly wounded Southern Pride young male. The unnatural angle of his hips was a sure sign that his back had been broken. His head was up, and he was breathing hard through an open mouth. There was a deep puncture wound on his shoulder. Every time a Majingilane moved, he mustered a low growl. The 3 attackers were quiet but attentive to the night sounds; it seemed as though they were waiting for the rest of the Southern Pride to come to their fallen comrade. They never did.
The next morning, we saw that the 3 coalition members had gone north across the river causing more disruption as though unable to control the sudden burst of testosterone, dominance and aggression caused by the nights activities. The Southern Pride young male lay dying in the same spot, whilst rest of the 5 members of Southern Pride were all located together on Castleton – far west of the Majingilanes’ territory. Later that day, the young male died as a result of his injuries, his regal body now a part of the earth and his noble spirit moving through the ether. The Lion Warfare continues…


*This image is copyright of its original author


It would be useless to just copy paste there Londolozi's Lion Warfare archives so if someone is intrested to learn more about great Majingilanes rule since it's beggining then go to that link:
https://blog.londolozi.com/tag/lion-warfare/
8 pages of lion warfare history.
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Poland Potato Offline
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https://www.lionsands.com/2018/07/charleston-males-make-return-quite-stir/

July 16 2018

Cherleston males vs Southern Avoca


From early in the morning of 11 July, we could hear the roaring of lions. It’s an exciting sound, not only because it helps us to locate them but also, because we don’t have an established coalition here, it’s not something we hear all that often. Setting out on safari, updates started pouring in over the radio. Our easterly neighbours had heard the vocalizations coming from the south-west, while our neighbours to the south called in the audio to their north-east. With this information, we had a good idea of where to look and headed to the south-east corner of Lion Sands.

One of the guides called in two large, male lions. When I got there, I saw these were definitely not the Avoca males – the two lions we’ve regularly viewed on our reserve in the last few months. These were mighty lions – big, black-maned, and beautiful. Upon closer inspection, we noticed one was missing his lower-right canine – a dead giveaway as to his identity. Even though this was the first time I’d ever seen them, these were unmistakably the Charleston Males. The one male is infamous for an altercation with a giraffe (seen during a Lion Sands game drive), which left him with a hanging tooth that’s since fallen out.

The lions were walking ‘with purpose.’ It wasn’t a run, but they certainly had a destination in mind and an agenda for when they got there. We followed them on their mission for quite a while. They weren’t interested in hunting either, not at all trying to conceal themselves as we passed several prey species, including some giraffe who kept a steady eye on them.
While we were with the Charlestons, the Avoca males had also been found on the reserve, not far from where we were. They were also roaring, which had drawn the attention of the Charlestons. Apparently, the Avocas had been separated from each other and were trying to reunite. However, this gave their position away to the Charlestons, who were on their way to investigate.
Later on in the morning, after we had left the lions, a few other guides reported that the Charlestons had confronted the Avocas, who are much younger and inferior in size and strength. The Charlestons chased the Avocas out of the territory, moving south into Lion Sands Kruger Park. On the afternoon game drive, the guides and guests there also got the chance to view the Charlestons. By then, they’d succeeded in chasing the Avocas out of Lion Sands altogether, and were resting. That evening, the guides followed them as they continued to wander south, until they eventually moved off our reserve.
Though it was a short visit, I am so happy that I got to see these lions. The last time they were seen on the reserve was August of last year. The Charleston males now hold a territory in the Kruger National Park, but that doesn’t stop them from laying claim to an area they once ruled. As the previous dominant males of Lion Sands and the bloodline of the remaining Southern Pride, they are legends around here. I hope it’s not another year until their next visit (although I’m sure the Avoca males would disagree).
Words by: Ruvan Grobler
Photos by: Anthony Hattingh


*This image is copyright of its original author


Image by Neil Jennings
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Poland Potato Offline
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https://rangerdiaries.com/diary/last-moments-of-the-life-of-a-male-lion-the-fall-of-vulolo/

December 29 2006

Mapogos vs Vulolo, the dominant male of Tsalala pride

I can only imagine what it must have been like. From the tracks we found the next day we have an idea, but his last few minutes must have been like something out of a horror film.
Vulolo, father of the Tsalala cubs, dominant male of the North, the voice of the roars we had fallen asleep to in camp for the whole of the previous year, had either killed or stolen an impala, and was feeding on his prize in the darkness. He most likely would not have recognized the first face to arrive at his kill, either attracted by the smell of the meat, or by his territorial roaring. Perhaps he even fancied his chances having seen a single male challenger, perhaps one just below prime size, indignantly running towards his meal. Perhaps he did not run at first, and stood to face his challenger.
His heart would have sunk at the sight of a second large male lion running towards him from the blackness, his courage replaced by a dark fear. Most likely, as he turned to run, he would have seen another, then another, then another, and then even another snarling male lion, running at him from all sides, teeth bared, manes flowing in the wind, and as he felt the heat of their breath and felt the pain from their claws, his horrible and violent fate would have dawned on him. These were the voices he had heard the wind bringing on many a night from the far West. The Mapogo had finally found him… but they not only intended to silence him…. they were going to eat him.
I hope for his sake his life ended quickly. The noise would have been literally sickening… the kind of thing guests think they would like to witness but would end up either not being able to watch or retching noisily over the side of the vehicle. There would have been an age of growling, of steam coming from their mouths and off his open carcass, as they fought amoungst each other over the prize parts of his body. All that they left was his mane and his tail.
It is so difficult as someone who has spent time watching the life of an animal unfold: one can’t help feeling some connection to a creature which has given you so much viewing pleasure, and with whom you have spent many intimate moments. We fear the worst for the young Tsalala cubs who are now without the protection of their father.
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Poland Potato Offline
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( This post was last modified: 07-25-2020, 04:03 PM by Potato )

https://blog.malamala.com/index.php/2017/05/kambula-pride/?fbclid=IwAR2QyMZwpsE4t8xjPTR80Zass4f5bAmH-LktrXUcTdyS-XLICXcZHAIS2I4

Late 2016 - Early 2017

Born of Kambula pride and Southern Matimba vs Matshipiri males clash over it.

The last six months or so here at MalaMala Game Reserve have proven to be a rather tempestuous time with regard to the fascinating lion dynamics taking place on the property. This has all come as a result of the insurgence of six beautiful young lionesses beginning to flex their collective territorial muscle in the central and western parts of MalaMala.
The beginnings of this pride was a fairly tumultuous time to say the least, one that has saw the splitting of family ties and bloodlines. Going back a generation, the mothers of these six (four, young females at the time) had broken away from the well-known Marthly Pride with the aid of an adult tailless female- the mother in fact of the current tailless female in the Marthly pride who suffered the same fate as a juvenile, with her tail being bitten off by a hyena. The reason for this was to escape the wrath of the four Manyeleti males who had taken the area by force and with the four females being of an age too young to breed, they were seen as a hindrance to the expansion of the Manyeleti male’s bloodline. This is standard lion modus operandi whereby new males will kill the offspring of females, in order to induce them into oestrus so as to put their own genes forward.
Eventually the four females managed to establish themselves in areas to our west and there became known as the Marthly Breakaway pride (aka Mangheni). In the process the four females ended up killing that same tailless female over a zebra carcass as they had slowly drifted apart and lost their close ties to one another (such is the nature of lions ) and finally from those four, nine cubs managed to make it to adolescence.  The nine consisted of six females and three males. Eventually, and again from the pressures of the Manyeleti males, the nine juveniles were pushed out and became fairly nomadic. We have seen at least two of those young males in the south on the odd occasion but towards the middle of last year every now and again, six beautiful unscarred females would pop up in the Sand River at various spots and then all but disappear.

*This image is copyright of its original author

As the curtains of last year’s drought began to draw their tattered drapes across the land with the promise of new rains to come, the more regular emergences of these lionesses began to excite us all. They were closely by the two massive Clarendon male lions. Our airstrip, Piccadilly Triangle and Campbell Koppies was were we viewed them most often. The majority of the females all now of sexual maturity had picked up the undivided attention of the two Clarendon males and we enjoyed numerous sightings of all eight lions together as well as a few stolen intimate moments during the time of the courting period.

For most of the last year or two the central parts of MalaMala had been somewhat of a buffer zone between the two Matshipiri male lions, presiding over the Eyrefield pride and Fourways pride, and the Gowire males, dominant over the Styx pride. It was in this area that the new kids on the block began snooping around for possible sites to stash away the cubs that were by this stage a very noticeable bulge in the otherwise lean bellies of at least two of the females. And so it was that with the first cracks of thunder, followed by the deep blue grey sheets of rain beginning their reinvigoration of the parched land, that the two females gave birth, one on Campbell Koppies which lies directly east of camp and the other on Ostrich Koppies a little further east of that. Due to the ruggedness of these beautiful granite outcrops (otherwise known as ‘Koppies’) we were offered only a few glimpses into the first days and weeks of these cub’s lives, but as fortunes would have it, this would be all we were going to witness.


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Enter the two Matshipiri males. All of this new lion activity occurring to the north of their territory was never going to go unnoticed be the streetwise and wily Matshipiri males. Not topping the scales by any measure and most certainly not winning any beauty contests, these two male lions top the charts in pure grit aggression and with a fighting spirit. It was this insatiable appetite to expand both territory and genes that drove the Matshipiri males northwards and into contact with the Clarendon males and their new posse of females. The initial reconnaissance missions were mostly all bravado on both sides with the early summer mornings being shattered by the thundering roars of the two coalitions. Like a great game of tug-o-war the battles continued to sway north and south, with the six females caught in the middle and the two coalitions playing with the double edged sword of ambition and self-preservation. It was interesting even as this delicate waltz of dominance ensued to see how some of the females flirtingly lured the Matshipiri males away when they got too close to the fortresses of the koppies. Or maybe they could already feel to which side the flag was going fall.





It was in fact New Year’s day as the sun began to beam across the aqua blues skies of mid-summer that once again the oppressive air was broken by the incisive roars of male lions. To the north of Main Camp the Matshipiri males, always together like two street brawlers had come across a lone Clarendon male and having realised their advantage proceeded to drive him as far out of the area as physically possible. Whilst we struggled to follow, catching only glimpses of the action it was evident that the tides had turned and the more youthful somewhat fortuitous Matshipiri males had just taken the upper hand. Eventually with salivating mouths from the continuous roaring of the morning we watched as the two lions lay side by side recovering from the exertion through the stifling heat. Like two prize fighters after the final bell, out of breath and body but none the less victors in the final battle of cunning and fortune

*This image is copyright of its original author

This all falls as the backdrop to where we find ourselves now, with the lion dynamics being well and truly turned upside down, all by the influence of these new lionesses. What we do know is that the cubs initially born of the Clarendon males are no longer, whether it was the floods of the life giving rainy season, the incompetence of the first time mothers or in fact the Matshipiri males themselves, we will never know. Where certainty lies is that these lionesses have not escaped the attention and intentions of the Matshipiri males. We have witnessed them mating on many occasions throughout the central parts of MalaMala from the Western most boundary all the way to the Kruger boundary in the east.

It has now been quite some time that these lions have been occupying this newfound territory, showing all the signs of settling down and with this, in the tradition of MalaMala we need to name the pride accordingly. In the past we have always named our territorial cats both leopards and lions, according to the areas in which their core territories initially lie, normally after some prominent landmark, road or natural formation. Obviously these territories are fairly transient and are constantly changing due to the surrounding pressures of other rival animals but it gives us a way of identifying with these cats we are so lucky to spend time with.

After much discussion amongst us all, it was finally decided to name the six lionesses the ‘Kambula Pride’. “Kambula” refers to the name the Shangaan speaking people (during the early days of the establishment of MalaMala) gave to one, William Alfred Campbell, who throughout his life was affectionately known as ‘Wac’. It is after this man that those same Koppies on which the lionesses originally denned on, are named after, now today known again as Campbell Koppies. This stunning granite outcrop dominates the skyline when looking out from camp, surrounded by some of the most picturesque and wildlife rich areas on offer. It was one of the first areas in which hunting was prohibited on MalaMala due its proximity to camp and rich game viewing during those early days and was always earmarked as an area ‘for the enjoyment of the wildlife’. No doubt a great place for a pride of lions to include in their territory.
It would be a true disfavour at this stage to not touch on a little history of the Campbell name and its influence in those early days. To us, Wac Campbell is one of the founding fathers of MalaMala, a man of spirit and vision, a gentleman and a scholar, all coupled with the strength and tenacity of those early pioneering men of our country. A true lover of the African bush and its wildlife, Wac was the first to purchase MalaMala and the surrounding areas with the primary intention of conservation and enjoyment. After serving in the First World War as a Marine Landing Officer and ADC to the Governor of Natal, Wac was suffering from extremely poor health and was persuaded by an old family friend to do some hunting in the wilds of Zululand. This would be the first step not only to a life of good health but also towards the exquisite lands of the Eastern Transvaal, today known as the greater Kruger National Park.

Text: Ranger Theo York | Photographs: Theo York and Morne Coetzer

*Calderon males - Southern Matimba
 Manyeleti males - Majingilanes
 Gowrie males - BBoys
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Poland Potato Offline
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http://tintswalo.com/safari/the-lions-of-tintswalo/a-tribute-to-sizanani-tintswalos-legendary-lion-king/

A TRIBUTE TO SIZANANI – TINTSWALO’S LEGENDARY LION KING

*This image is copyright of its original author


It was a sad day last month when we learned of the passing of Tintswalo’s most magnificent male lion—Sizanani.
One of our rangers, Christof Schoeman, described Sizanani as a ‘True Survivor’ for his amazing ability to somehow come out on top, despite all odds. At Tintswalo, he also gained the nickname “Phantom”, because he would sometimes disappear for long periods of time—everyone would presume he was dead—and then almost miraculously appear back in the Manyeleti to stake his claim once again.
He was a tidal force in the greater Kruger National Park area, with a territory that fluctuated between the Manyeleti and Sabi Sands regions, and involved various other males whom he formed tight bonds with; and numerous cubs that he sired.
It’s fair to say that his incredible survival genes have been passed on into numerous new generations of cubs as he made his way in the tough world of the African bush.
Below is his remarkable story.

Sizanani’s amazing early life

Sizanani was born in the beginning of 2007, from a pride of 20-strong lions known as the Nkuhuma Pride in the Northern Sabi Sands region. This pride was well-known in the area as the ‘buffalo hunters’ for their remarkable ability to kill buffalo, one of the largest prey species. This was a skill that would prove important for Sizanani.
Sizanani was part of a litter of 20-plus cubs. But in December of 2007, tragedy struck the pride. Blondie (father of Sizanani), was killed by the legendary Mapogo male lion coalition. Attacks on the remaining pride and cubs during the first half of 2008 devastated the pride. Many cubs fell victim to the attacks; as did some of the adult lionesses too.
The pride became fragmented, lost, and Sizanani and his brother were the only two cubs to survive the onslaught. It was up to them to carry on to adulthood.
The first time the brothers were seen together on Tintswalo’s concession was in the middle of 2012. At this point, they were known as the Nkahuma males. The brother of Sizanani had a very bad hip injury which he maintained for a very long time, probably with the help of Sizanani. This is where Sizanani gained his name, Sizanani, which means ‘working together’, given to him by Tintswalo guides and trackers at the time.


*This image is copyright of its original author


The brothers 

In September 2012, Sizanani and his brother, now known as the Sizanani coalition, were mating with some of the Koppies (breakaway from the Orpen super pride) Females. During this time, the brothers had numerous fights with the Legendary Matimba males, but somehow managed to survive.

At the end of 2012, another blow struck Sizanani when his brother (one with the bad hip) was killed by the Matimba males close to Tintswalo. Sizanani then ran back towards the Sabi Sands and spent most of 2013 in the Northern sands, wandering the reserve as a lone male lion.

Although we did not see him, Sizanani became legendary in the area, and there were reports of him single handedly taking down adult buffalo during this time.

In Aug 2013, he fathered his first litter of cubs with a pride known as the Styx Females in the Sabi Sands. Unfortunately, his first litter was killed by other males. At this point, Sizanani disappeared off the radar. And we began to presume that he had died.

Sizanani’s triumphant return

And then, just like that, he was back!

To our surprise, In September 2014, he appeared back in the Manyeleti by himself after months of wandering the wilderness alone. It was at this point that people on social media began to describe him as the “Phantom’—a true surviver.

Sizanani finally decided to reside in the Manyeleti, close to Tintswalo Safari Lodge, and it was here where he also made a new friend, another male lion whom he joined forces with to take back the territory. This was officially the start of the Thand Impi Males, where Sizanani and an unknown male ‘Scorro’ formed a coalition and started to dominate the the central Manyeleti!
When Sizanani was a cub, he had learned the skills of hunting buffalo, and now him and his new brother began to take that reputation forward, hunting massive buffalos in the reserve and feeding on them for days.

Sizanani stakes his claim

Just as the two boys began to set up their new territory near Tintswalo, the infamous Birmingham Lions made up of five big males arrived.

They spent some time in the Manyeleti. Despite this, the Thanda Impi males, led by Sizanani, managed to evade this monstrous coalition. The Birmingham Males moved off. Finally, the two boys had established themselves and their territory.

They were lucky enough to meet up with the 3 Birmingham lionesses that originated from the Southern Timbavati Game Reserve during the remaining months of 2015 until early november. This was the start of the Nharhu pride! Now the lion count was 2 pride males, 3 lionesses+ 10 cubs! These cubs are currently still in the area as 2 year old Sub adults.

Next in line for a takeover was the Mbiri pride. In 2016, this pride consisted of 8 lions, 5 lionesses with 3 young males—ready to be kicked out and become nomadic.

The Thanda Impis saw the opportunity and forced the females to submission during June 2016. Mating ensued for the first time in September 2016, where both males collectively started mating with the two older Mbiri Females. Ever since then, the Thanda Impi males spent less time with the Nharhu pride and more time with the Mbiris.
In February 2017, the first Mbiri cubs sired by the Thanda Impi’s were born! The total count as it stands 5 lionesses, 2 pride males and 16 cubs of different generations.

Sizanani’s last days

At some point, Sizanani’s epic tale had to begin to end.

And that day was Christmas day of 2016. We found Sizanani with a bad hip injury that could’ve been caused by a buffalo hunt gone wrong. Either way; he wasn’t the same male again. He managed to feed well by staying close to the lionesses he had come to dominate, until he finally succumbed to his injury on the 27th of October 2017.

His final resting place was a spot not too far from the lodge—an area that had become his final kingdom, and the place where he fathered the most number of cubs,
Sizanani provided all of us and our guests with hours of joy and amazement. He truly was one of the great lions of Kruger, and he will live on in our memories for a very long time.
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http://tintswalo.com/safari/uncategorized/thanda-impi-male-lions-unlikely-warriors/

THANDA IMPI MALE LIONS: UNLIKELY WARRIORS

*This image is copyright of its original author


All of the guides at Tintswalo Safari Lodge have become quite attached to the Thanda impi males. The truth is that we never gave them a chance! When we first noticed the 2 males together, we recognized a familiar face. The Sizanani male was back, and he had a friend. This male was well known to us, he and his brother were territorial males in our area when I first started here in May 2012. They managed to hang on to the territory with the Koppies pride, until May 2013, when 4 of the Matimba males moved into the area, disposing of the male with the bad leg. He was alone! In one night, he’d lost it all. His brother, his territory and his pride! This however is the life of a male Lion, and they very rarely get a second chance. We watched the social media networks, and watched how he moved south again, wreaking havoc in his old stomping grounds of the Sabi Sands. Already this was an incredible story to follow, we had no idea of what was to come.

In October 2014, we noticed that he was back, but in the company of another male. Several photos, frantically posted on Facebook and we had an answer as to who this male was. The male in question was one of the males that had been ousted from the Skorro pride, to our north. Ironically, he too had lost his brother to the very same Matimba male Lions. At this point, the Matimba’s spent the majority of their time north of our boundary, and this left a massive gap in what used to be exclusively Matimba territory, giving these 2 males an opportunity. There was one major hurdle in their way though, the also recently ousted Selati male Lions, had their eye on the same real estate. A new pride of females, the Nharhu pride were establishing themselves in the area around Main Dam and this was very alluring to both coalitions of males. Over a period of several months, we noticed that the Selati males had moved south and the Thanda impi’s were spending a lot of time with the Nharhu pride. By November 2015, we started seeing the first of the Nharhu pride cubs. Against all the odds, these 2 had taken a prime territory and sired 10 cubs. This was already and huge success, rags to riches type story, but more was to come.

After consolidating the Nharhu pride territory, their eyes began to wonder again. In April 2016, the Mbiri pride, who are our resident pride around the lodge, started acting up. The pride was 8 strong, 2 adult females, three sub-adult females and 3 sub-adult males, but an ancient urge was over coming the Lionesses. They started roaring, calling males to them. The Thanda Impi males heard their calls, but first had to take care of the sub-adult male problem. They swiftly sent the young males north, dealing with the competition in a typically savage fashion. The last interaction was in July 2016, and the young Mbiri males haven’t been seen with the pride since. As they started properly interacting with the Mbiri’s, an unforeseen threat had emerged. 2 of the 5 strong, Avoca male Lion coalition had also made a move on the Mbiri pride. After spending several weeks on Mbiri territory, and edging on the Thanda impi territory, a massive fight must have happened. We found the Thanda Impi’s with the Mbiri pride and one of the Avoca males sporting a very swollen face and injured hind legs. The Thanda impi’s had faced their second major threat, and surprisingly to all of us, forced these huge males out of the area.  Competition eliminated, now to the business of mating. The Thanda impi’s began with the older Lionesses, before turning their attention to the younger females.

By this stage the Thanda Impi’s now control about a third of the manyeleti, with 2 prides under their protection. They now have 20 cubs, that they’ve sired, and both made their way to this point the hard way. Hard lessons learnt have made them hard warriors. When will we start underestimating them? They have proved to be a very successful coalition.


Skorro:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Territory hold by Thanda Impi males:

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Finland Shadow Offline
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( This post was last modified: 07-21-2019, 12:37 AM by Shadow )

This is one old case which many know. Still I think, that this documentary is worth of watching if not seen before. It´s like partial time travel to past. Interesting interviews and not like many new "documentaries" repeating same thing over and over and over again making 10 minutes story to last 30 minutes...... Just remember, that not all people in interviews are lion experts :) Documentary is from 1996.





Article about same case:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/man-eaters-of-tsavo-11614317/
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Poland Potato Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-05-2020, 10:53 PM by Potato )

http://tintswalo.com/safari/uncategorized/ghosts-of-our-past/
http://tintswalo.com/safari/uncategorized/19-20-february-2017/
http://tintswalo.com/safari/uncategorized/27-28-february-2017/
http://tintswalo.com/safari/uncategorized/1-4-march-2017/
http://tintswalo.com/safari/uncategorized/23-24-march-2017/
http://tintswalo.com/safari/uncategorized/25-26-march-2017/

February-March 2017

Thanda Impi males encounter Southern Matimbas

GHOSTS OF OUR PAST!

The last 2 weeks have been incredibly interesting in the Manyeleti, especially with regards to the Lion dynamics on the reserve. The last 2 weeks has seen the return of the original bad boys of the Manyeleti….. the 2 southern Matimba’s have returned to their old stomping grounds. This naturally has had a profound effect on the movement of the local Lion prides, and of course the Thanda impi male Lions, who now rule the area. On the 19th of February, we were very surprised when we located an old male Lion with a Buffalo kill on Xiskankanka road. We identified him as the hairy belly Matimba male. The scary part of it all was that he was probably only a few kilometers from where the Mbiri pride had their cubs. Luckily, the Thanda impi’s had thus far been pretty good pride males, and were concentrating their activities around the area.

*This image is copyright of its original author

At first, it was quiet and it seemed that the Matimba’s had moved on. The Skorro Thanda impi male was roaring around the airstrip, obviously he had become aware of a threat, but nothing came back at him. From what I can remember of the Matimba’s, not responding would be totally out of character, so they must have moved on. And then the roaring from the Matimba’s started. They had stealthily moved towards the Wild dog dam area, even closer than before. These were warriors with experience! The Thanda Impi’s had their back turned, and were feeding on a Buffalo to the north on Vulture pan road. The Mbiri pride were wide open, and there for the taking. Then our worst dreams came to pass, the matimba’s came past the lodge, moving north and violently roaring as they went. They were moving straight to the Mbiri pride at Zebra pan. We tracked the matimba’s as far as we could, but unfortunately we lost the tracks in the thick grass. The Mbiri Lionesses however, are also experienced, and they had moved their cubs further north to Catwalk west, a thicker and deeper drainage line, with more place to hide. At this point, Skorro male came to his senses and immediately joined the Mbiri pride, and for several days wouldn’t leave the pride.

*This image is copyright of its original author

This seems to have done the trick, and the Matimba males moved back to the south and were located a few days ago on Scratches plains. Are they just listening? Or have they discovered that the Nharhu pride is currently moving without any males? These seasoned warriors have done this dance before, and i’m sure they know what they are doing. A famous quote by Leo Tolstoy puts it perfectly into perspective ” The two most powerful warriors are patience and time”. On the other hand, Skorro Thanda Impi has successfully managed to put a barrier between the Matimba’s and the Mbiri pride. And the Mbiri’s themselves wisely created the necessary distance, not allowing themselves to be caught. The only casualties in this current drama we believe are the 3 youngest Mbiri cubs, that were found only a couple of weeks ago, close to Zebra pan and were still unable to walk. The mother has since been seen with the pride, and no cubs to show. Hopefully she managed to get them out in time.

Skorro:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Matimbas:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


19-20 FEBRUARY 2017
Mbiri pride
We only had one sighting of one of the young Lionesses over the 2 days. She was found with the Skorro Thanda Impi male Lion close to Zebra pan. She then moved to the north, and towards where the 3 very young cubs were seen, at Konkoni quarry. She eventually settled at the quarry, and didn’t go into the drainage line to the east. I believe that she still wasn’t feeling comfortable with the males being that close to the cubs, when they were still so young. The appearance of the southern Matimba’s is a serious concern to this particular female, with the cubs being so young. Lets hope she takes a leaf out of the other females book, and moves the cubs further north.

[i][b]Thanda Impi male Lions
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[i][b]The Thanda Impi male Lions, and Skorro in particular are spending a lot of time with the Mbiri pride and the cubs at the moment. Scorro was seen once with one of the young females at Konkoni quarry. They are going to have to be vigilant at the moment, because the southern Matimba’s are a few kilometers to the south east, and already the speculation amongst the guides, about a possible clash has been rife.[/b][/i]

[i][b][i][b]Southern Matimba male Lions[/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b]Its been a huge surprise to see these 2 brutes returning to their old stomping grounds. One of the males was found on Xiskankanka road, with a Buffalo cow kill, and looked to be in very good condition. Their re-emergence in the area could have dire consequences for our establishing Lion population. Their most obvious target would be the Nharhu pride, who have largely been without the thanda Impi males for a while now. The major implication here would be that the 6 young males aren’t old enough to venture out on their own yet, but at 15 months old, the females should be alright. However, if the Matimba males are attracted to the roaring of the Thanda Impi’s, that would put the Mbiri cubs in the line of fire. All said though, its been great to see these males, after a very long absence.[/b][/i][/b][/i]

[i][b][i][b]27-28 FEBRUARY 2017[/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b]Mbiri pride[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b]The Mbiri pride stayed north, out of the reach of the Matimba males and moved the cubs into the drainage line on catwalk west. We had 2 sightings of the pride over the 2 days, and both within a very close proximity to each other. The cubs were hidden in the deep, thick riverine bush and seem to be safe for now anyway. How far north the Mbiri’s decide to move is going to be interesting, because of the threat of the Avoca males further north, in what was the northern parts of Mbiri territory. Times have changed for this pride, but the instinct to protect the cubs is definitely driving their decisions at the moment.[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
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[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]Thanda Impi male Lions[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]The Thanda Impi males have stayed close to the Mbiri pride, moving north and ensuring that the cubs are defended. The last few weeks have seen some close calls for the Thanda impi’s, but they have stepped up against a very dangerous opposition, particularly the Skorro male. He spent a lot of time roaring and keeping the Matimba’s away to the south. At one point, they moved north away from the Mbiri’s, and i wonder if that is what forced the Mbiri’s to move the cubs north as well (just a different theory i suppose). All in all, the experience of these males is proving to be their greatest weapon.[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
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[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]1-4 MARCH 2017[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]Mbiri pride[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]We had two sightings of the Mbiri pride over the 4 days. On the afternoon of the 2nd, they were found close to mantobeni pan and moved north towards old pump. A large Buffalo herd had assembled at the pans and they started half heartedly stalking the Buffalo. After a while, they came to rest in the open area. The second sighting was the next morning, to the west of Sable bridge. The cubs were happily suckling, and the females seemed quite content. They are still moving around the northern parts of the heart of their territory, as this is probably the place that they consider the safest for the cubs at the moment.[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]

[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]Thanda Impi male Lions[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]We also had 2 sightings of the Thanda Impi’s over the 4 days. We first the Skorro male with the Mbiri pride at mantobeni pan. He moved north with the pride, but slumped for an afternoon nap at the tree line. The 2nd sighting, was both males at Khoka Moya Dam. With all the disturbance in the south, and the fact that the Sizanani male hasn’t been looking well for a little while, its interesting that they have moved all the way to the northern extremes of their territory.[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
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[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]Matimba male Lions[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]We had one sighting of the 2 big males, at scratches plains in the western part of the reserve. They were resting up on the sodic area. After all the chaos they caused with the Mbiri pride, it’s interesting that they moved away from the territory completely, back into the Nharhu prides territory. The one male has a bad paw, and probably isn’t in the best physical condition to confront other male Lions at the moment, or if the Mbiri prides push north eventually led to the marimba’s giving up the chase. Who knows![/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
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[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]23-24 MARCH 2017[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]

[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]Mbiri pride and Thanda Impi males[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]Both the Mbiri pride and Thanda Impi male Lions have continued to stay in the area around Old Pump. On the morning of the 23rd, we found them with a Buffalo kill. There was a fair amount of competition, particularly between the two males. It seems that after dealing with the Matimba threat, their coalition is under a bit of strain and they’re lashing out at one another. The rest of the pride just continued feeding, but more squabbles almost as vicious as the big males, also continued to break out between the cubs. The next day they were found only a few hundred meters away, on the western side of Old Pump. This area is clearly a safe place for the cubs at the moment, and the Lionesses aren’t taking any chances.[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]

[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]25-26 MARCH 2017[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]

[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]Mbiri pride[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]The Mbiri were relatively scarce over the two days, only being seen once. They were found at Sable bridge on the morning of the 25th, and moved with the cubs into the drainage line to the east. This remains a favorite for the Mbiri’s, as far as hiding the cubs goes, their fortress! Further than that it seems as if they are just waiting for the memories of the Southern matimba foray into their territory to fade.[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]

[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]Matimba males[/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
[i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b][i][b]The Matimba males were seen again, but in the far eastern part of the reserve at Rhino pan. They had killed a Buffalo bull, and were sleeping next to the carcass. Later on, they moved off and the Hyenas were allowed to finish the scraps. After all the chaos they caused for the Mbiri pride, these males seem to be leaving Thanda Impi territory. As far as we know, there wasn’t any major interaction between them and the Thanda impi’s, but it seems the Matimba’s aren’t too keen for the chase anymore![/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i][/b][/i]
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Poland Potato Offline
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#14

https://arathusa.co.za/matimba-lions-vs-a-crocodile-by-ranger-cedrick-dold/

Matimba Lions Vs A Crocodile, By Ranger Cedrick Dold

Early one morning we followed up on the seemingly never-ending tracks of two male lions. The morning was fresh and the sun was just making an appearance from above the trees.

It was not long before we located the two Matimba male lions resting at a waterhole. On closer inspection, we realised that there was a crocodile in the water and that it had dragged a Kudu bull into the shallow depths.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

The two male lions were just watching and waiting in anticipation, hoping to steal the kill. Clearly the one male lion could stand the suspense no longer, as he decided to take a swim (highly uncharacteristic behaviour for cats) and tried to drag the kill out of the water.

Although the lion struggled to get any leverage and ended up abandoning his effort, we were so privileged to witness such an extraordinary sighting!
This is why we love what we do…. You never know what might unfold before your very eyes.

Until next time,

Cedrick Dold
The Arathusa Rangers

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Poland Potato Offline
Contributor
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#15

http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8050/lions-of-sabi-sabi/?fbclid=IwAR1uZdqJHECRWorCC8n192AUVqQEun0wrnIAptbsPNGBjAeznRNyp5LNu3g
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8071/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-63/?fbclid=IwAR0qVPa0uedNynBbbKTGZpnTjNu-vVlLQ0HZn3Zp8WGswGTt4ofYAzdo1I0
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8249/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-67/?fbclid=IwAR1wIL5VlFSYGxdFHsHd7Ux4dBlUXVIM-iqe4Iqa1rcSe7PoCUwag84uCKY
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8511/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-71/?fbclid=IwAR1HrbTcYMI86sG-LdTYeFpXkSOt6KRf92W1hI9nzvQr4lF-sNcsJEgfUMc
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8551/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-72/?fbclid=IwAR0GtyGZb-j_yDYLwgL-57imdGLtH3g7Tjo2Kk-kxNTDJ5-1mMUAiwpKT9I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nrg6jmYjc8
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8645/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-74/?fbclid=IwAR0Ykqh5gscKAeviPp2WAhq4fso2oBoBDuxkvxnbMR0xgj5fhHqizCXGMgY
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8692/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-75/?fbclid=IwAR1i1EL4Dl8JjA9XA-C6Xb3kzMhUy1viJ1uIbQOCaxTGTue4bcU17vp9fJc
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8767/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-77/?fbclid=IwAR3JXVbneal7qZDRIyzg6iogaDQnt2LqYygbhFdk_2wq2VDOplt7pz4E4Hs
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8852/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-79/?fbclid=IwAR12vp09bTQ9OxlnoNuhVfe5ojuDMTH3eBBThIK7Zs7PoyW9qIj5dR3rq-s
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/8877/lions-of-sabi-sabi-private-game-reserve/?fbclid=IwAR3XwYT2Ao0h92NHYjkAlT7RQFlZ8ubZjcuOmE1Jc1vP1KdSug42-byNqSo
http://www.sabisabi.com/blog/9103/a-week-in-the-bush-vol-84/?fbclid=IwAR2BsQaOvXRMSEWkhLqBeKVBvSBbPsYSP1Ma-pJGi2e6KpaEVWnN6Z3nolU

August 2015 - January 2016

Lion dynamic in southern Sabi Sands since vacating arena by Sand River males - competition between Fourways males, Charleston males and Fredy and Solo duo.

Henry Ford said “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a progress; working together is success”. That is the quote that the two Fourways males follow.

*This image is copyright of its original author

It all started off very slowly as we started seeing these two young males more and more regularly from about two years back, they have been pushing in from our north eastern corner and never really showed any interest in going further west. Then one day, about 4 months ago, early one morning, we found the two Fourways males busy finishing off an impala kill deep into the Sand River males’ territory, not looking bothered at all. Ever since that day they have been walking all over the place scent marking and calling, this meant the females all ran for their lives as these were new males to them that they have never seen before and with the reputation of the Mapogo’s who killed almost 60% of the lion population in the Sabi Sands, you can never be too careful.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

With them all chuffed with their new territory and trying to explore all the new places, they gave us Rangers and Trackers a nice run around every day to try and find them as they were covering vast distances in a short period of time.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

It all started settling down a bit and the six Southern Pride females were found closer and closer to the males. The one morning, all excited to see what happened during the course of the night, we went out and found tracks of two males chasing females around.  Continuing our search we found the males on a Nyala kill which they probably stole from the six females as their tracks came straight from there.
This probably didn’t make things easier for the females, so they moved far south into our property where the Fourways males have not been and the three Sand River males were still hanging around.

Days went past where the males stayed north and the females stayed south. The females were very successful with hunts down the south and their body condition picked up very quickly.
The two Fourways males eventually built up enough courage to go explore the southern part of our reserve that borders the Sabie River. They picked up fresh scent of the females and were on a mission again trying to find them but with all the vocalising the females made a run for it and have been sitting somewhere in the Kruger National Park.  That evening I saw the Fourways males chasing one Sand River male far east.


*This image is copyright of its original author

Weeks went past without seeing the six females and the Sand River males.  Eventually one morning we found one Southern Pride female with the Fourways males showing lots of interest in mating with them, but she was still giving the two males a lot of space as they had to fight it out to see who will be the dominant male to mate with her and that night it started with the younger male mating first for a few days and then splitting up again for a few days then found the bigger male mating with her. Everyone is super exited as this means the Southern Pride might start building the pride again with two stable males here who are in great condition and looks to stay here for a long time.
But then one morning we were woken up by what sounded like two males calling in front of Bush Lodge.  Kosie and I went out and found the two Charleston males running around calling and scent marking all over the area where the Fourways males were the night before so we started looking for the Fourways guys but couldn’t find them. They made a run for it all the way down south

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Now this was the deepest we have ever seen the Charleston males into our property.  Are they here to stay or were they just here because of their aunt that had her cubs here for a while and tried to protect her and her cubs from them. With all this happening the one Sand River male was spotted moving very fast north and a few days later back south again. Is he looking for his brothers to try and claim what is theirs or are they just going to move on and look for a different territory?
Now ending it off on a good note… The Fourways males were found mating with a different Southern Pride female, meaning we could maybe expect new members in the pride in about 110 days! Just hope the Fourways males keep their heads up and confidence high.

6 August 2015
As we all know the bush is a magical and unpredictable place. You never know what you are going to find or see and that is the beauty of the game. We might have less or irregular sightings of one animal and then suddenly a couple of days later a massive influx of the same species. That is exatly what happened on the lion front. With the Fourways males being more or less based in the southern part of the property, mating with one of the Southern Pride females and being acompanied by another female, we had sightings of other lions we don’t get to see on a regular basis.

*This image is copyright of its original author

This included seeing the Charleston female’s cubs for the first time as well as having the two Charleston boys coming onto our property, roaring and scent marking constantly. This was enough to send one of the Sand River males running for the hills. Other lions spotted included three of the Ximungwes as well as two of the young Sparta males.

3 September 2015
The news of the week though has to revolve around the Southern Pride.  We have been seeing various females with the either of the two Fourways males on a regular basis for the last several weeks now and it seems that final, the females have accepted the males as resident in the area.  We encountered them late in the week all together and behavior exhibited by the females toward the males was very encouraging.  There was a lot of physical contact and head rubbing/nuzzling performed by the females, which indicates an acceptance.  It was really nice to see and hopefully they will now experience some stability in the area.  It must be said though, that the take-over is not complete until there are cubs being born, but for the moment it is all systems go and it shouldn’t be too long before the females start to show signs of pregnancy.  Let’s hold thumbs for them.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


1 October 2015
It’s been more than a year now since we last saw Solo and the Kruger male lion on Sabi Sabi. They have joined forces and have been seen in the Kruger National Park for a while, and with the two Fourways males spending a lot of time roaring in our most southern part of the reserve, we would never have thought to see these two older boys up here again. A few days back the Fourways males were found pretty bruised and the orange-eyed male being worse off. The two males then split up and the orange-eyed male was not seen for a few days while the bigger blond male was mating with one of the Southern Pride females. Normally when they are separated from each other for a few days they would call and reunite but not this time, our minds started running off in different directions as everyone had a different opinion on what had happened to the orange-eyed male.

*This image is copyright of its original author

But then on the morning of 25/09/2015 the call came through on the radio that there was a lot of vulture activity in the southern part of the reserve. Following up there we found three male lions and four females on a fresh buffalo carcass. Not being in the sighting yet thoughts of who they might be started going through my mind. Eventually I got into the sighting and I could not believe what I was seeing!  A Fourways male feeding with one of the Southern Pride females and Solo and the Kruger male lying 30 meters away sleeping. Not showing any signs of aggression towards each other and the one female even mating with the Kruger male.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Could the orange-eyed Fourways male have been with Solo and the Kruger male the whole time or did they just join up as some predators do when they are really hungry and after feeding they would sometimes attack? But no, after 2 days the buffalo was finished and the males all went in separate directions.

Great news for us as Solo and the Kruger male are a lot bigger than the Fourways males and could possibly kill one of them – meaning the chances of the cubs that might still be coming would most likely not survive.
After a few days there was no sign of Solo and the Kruger male and the Fourways males continued as normal, mating with Floppy Ear and the one young female.
Until Tuesday morning, one of the Rangers found Solo and the Kruger male on the far northern part of our reserve looking in good condition and moving unfazed through the area. Are they pushing back their old territory now that the three Sand River males are almost unheard of? I cannot wait for the next few weeks to find out in which way they will surprise us again…


*This image is copyright of its original author


8 October 2015
We will start this week with the Southern Pride and the Fourways males. The Southern Pride had been trailing a herd of buffalo and managed to pull one down during the night. This provided the pride with a large meal and was a great addition to the buffalo they managed to pull down last week. The pride seems to be thriving together again and if they continue their effective hunting, Floppy Ear and the rest of the females can rebuild the pride to its former glory.
With the above being said, there needs to be a strong coalition to make this happen and the Fourways males seem to be providing stability for the females, but still have a long way to go to prove themselves. This will be tested if and when they give birth to a new litter. The Fourways males have been enjoying their new found territory and with the heat, stopping by at a favourite waterhole for a quiet drink and to admire the sunset.

*This image is copyright of its original author


22 October 2015




The sightings this week have been incredible as always with the Southern Pride and Fourways males being successful with numerous kills

With us having some nice overcast mornings and cooler days this week, everyone as well as the animals had a break from the intense heat the week before. It has been a very good week for lions as we had the Fourways males as well as four of the Southern Pride females for the whole week.  After looking quite hungry, the two males were successful in bringing down a big buffalo cow and were joined the next day by four of the Southern Pride females. This, like always at a kill, allowed for some nice interaction between these cats. Only a couple of days later two younger buffalo were brought down by the pride not too far apart. Two of the females were absent and Floppy Ear was one of them. Solo was also spotted on his own before following his nomadic nature and moving off. This raised the question – where is the Kruger male (Freddy), as there was an altercation between Solo, the Kruger male and the two Charleston males on a different property a couple of days ago.

29 October 2015
This is one quote that the lions of Sabi Sabi should live with as they might be going through a difficult time for the next few months.

Pressure has been coming from the two Charleston males the last week as we had them all the way in the southern part of our property. This is not good for the Fourways males as these guys are full of confidence and even bigger in size than them. The two Charleston boys have already proven themselves by taking on the Kruger male and Solo and it ended with the Kruger male losing his life after the battle.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

The reason why I am saying they are going to go through a difficult time is because the Fourways males have mated with all the Southern Pride females and it might even be that one or two of the females might have already started looking for den sites, so if the two Fourways males don’t step up and challenge the Charleston boys, they could take over this area and the pride and kill all the new cubs that could be on their way.

*This image is copyright of its original author

With all that still in mind it has been great seeing the Fourways males spending a lot of time with the Southern Pride females and enjoying each other’s company.  The bond between these guys have been formed now and we just hope that it stays that way.

*This image is copyright of its original author


12 November 2015
We started off the week with the Southern Pride missing yet another member. Rangers speculated her whereabouts with rumours of birthing cubs, death or what we all most dread, abandonment in the midst of another territorial take over.
The significant presence of the Charleston males over the last two weeks revealed, the female’s disappearance was more associated with the latter as, much to our horror, the Charlestons were found harbouring the missing female. This was later in the week overshadowed by the discovery of the one Charleston male in the presence of all five females! Although no mating has been witnessed, and the females have been far from welcoming, the Charleston showed no indications of cowardice when resting for the day less than 2km from the Fourways males. When both male coalitions finally met, it was indeed the Fourways who spared no second thought to running. Only time will tell if the Charlestons are on the brink of a new take-over, but with at least one of the Southern Pride females showing signs of being pregnant with the offspring of the Fourways males, it will certainly have disastrous repercussions for the future of the cubs. We wait with baited breathes!

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


26 November 2015
The lion dynamics have kept us all on our toes in recent weeks, but this has become the norm when it comes to the Southern Pride.  The females have been seen in the company of the Charleston males again and to date there has been little to no sign of the two Fourways males.  Just when it looked as though the females were settling down and the Fourways males were looking comfortable, a very large spanner in the form of the Charleston males appeared.  Now it must be said that the Charleston’s have had every opportunity to make an entrance since the demise of the Sand River males, but they had been very ‘quiet’ until very recently.  The competition must’ve spurred them on… In any event, if either of these coalitions were to be successful in establishing themselves as the dominant force in the area, it would be great for the Southern Pride.  I guess we are just going to have to wait a little bit longer than expected for the arrival of some cubs.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


Summary of past year
The two Fourways males have been doing so well in taking over the Southern Pride, they even showed how good they can be for the pride in killing buffalo almost every week. It really was great to see the females enjoying the presence of the two males.
Their confidence grew day by day and it was almost a definite that they were going to father the new cubs, they eventually got to mate with all the females which meant the females were supposed to have cubs in about 110 days, but after a month or two most of the females were not showing any signs of being pregnant and some did. Were some of the females nervous and went into a false oestrus making the males believe that they were ready to mate with?! Looks like some of the females were waiting to make sure that the two males were there to stay and capable of protecting the territory and cubs, luckily so because it wasn’t long before we heard the distinct call of two males coming from the far east – this could only be the two Charleston males.

Days went by where we didn’t see the two Fourways males and then we found them one morning both with bad scars on their back legs and one male with a bad bite mark on his spine. Could it be that they had a run in with the Charleston males for the first time and were lucky to escape? “Only time will tell”.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Again weeks went by and no sign of the Charleston males, they probably were not ready yet to come in for a takeover and felt responsible to look after their aunt and their two cousins who only turned a few months old the other day.

*This image is copyright of its original author

As the days progressed we were shocked one morning when we came across a sighting which blew everyone’s minds, it was the Kruger male, Solo, orange-eyed Fourways male and a few of the Southern Pride females all on a buffalo carcass.
Could it have been that Solo and the Kruger male didn’t see the Fourways male as a threat and let him be? The other Fourways male was still mating with one of the Southern Pride females and maybe had no clue what his partner was up to. The next day everything was back to normal again – the two Fourways males were back together and Solo and the Kruger male went far north to boundaries they have never been in together before. It wasn’t long before Solo came back alone and we received the worst possible news that Solo and the Kruger male had a run in with the Charleston males and the Kruger male came off second best.  With the passing of the Kruger male, Solo made his way back south into the Kruger National Park calling every now and then hoping that the Kruger male was still around. The only thing Solo found was the one young Sparta male who had no interest in getting close to Solo – maybe Solo’s sheer body size scared him and maybe Solo is already looking for a new mate.
With the Charleston males full of confidence after they killed the Kruger male, the time seemed right for them to push west and south into the heart of the Fourways males’ territory. They came in with a bang, scent marking from the word go. The Charleston’s were first seen with the one older female in the pride which caused tension between the two brothers already. The dark maned male decided to let his brother be and went back east as there was no sign of the Fourways males anywhere. Eventually one morning we were tracking the Charleston male and Southern Pride female, and when  we eventually found them, we came across all five females and one Charleston male with the two Fourways males not too far away.  The bigger of the Fourways males looked like he was stalking the Charleston male and got to about 40 meters from him when all of a sudden the females and the Charleston had a bit of a rumble which sent the Fourways male running for the hills.  That was the one opportunity the Fourways  males had to take on the Charleston male as his brother was a long way away from them, instead they took the easy road out and ran! This was a clear sign that they are not fit for these females and that the Charleston males are the right males for them and that they would stand their ground against anyone.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Since that encounter we have not seen the Fourways males for at least 11 days now. Was this the final take over from the Charleston males? Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks…

7 Januarny 2016
The lion dynamics have kept us on the edge of seats as always, especially with the surprise of some of our team having found a Southern Pride female with two cubs!  I can’t say that we were surprised that they were going to produce them at some stage, since they were mating profusely with the Fourways males before the Charleston males decided to ‘stir the pot’ so to speak, but to have them born now is quite exciting and also quite worrying.  It is not known if the cubs are still alive and we are not sure who the biological fathers are.  It could be either of the two coalitions.  One thing is almost certain and that is if the cubs are Fourways’ offspring, they will most likely be dispatched of by the Charlestons.  This is unfortunately the way of the African Bush and there is nothing we can do about it, as hard of a pill as it is to swallow.
The Charlestons continue to assert their dominance over the area and the Southern Pride, with the larger Charleston brother not having left their side until two days ago.  I personally have not seen him mate with any females and only seen them resist his advances, so we are back to square one where the females are going to test the will, strength and stamina of the two large males.  I was sorry to see the Fourways males chased off so easily, but in all honesty, the Charlestons would make amazing pride males.  They are very big, they’re strong and they’re full of confidence.  Historically, we never had the chance to spend too much time with them, only seeing them every now and then, but watching them grow from young lions to the dominant force they are today has been truly exceptional.  I hope to see them dominate the area for years to come.


*This image is copyright of its original author



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