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Lions of sabi sands

Australia Herekitty Offline
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LONDOLOZI BLOG: How Many Cubs Does the Ntsevu Pride Have? By James Tyrrell November 8, 2018


This is a tricky one, as the pride is split so often.

The Sand River has essentially dried up for the time being, so animals previously dependent on what was recently a small trickle of water have been forced to disperse to get their liquid sustenance from a few pans and waterholes strewn about the reserve. It seems likely that the Ntsevu pride has started venturing further afield in order to follow their food sources. That’s the theory at least, and is exactly the same as the movements of the Sparta Pride from yesteryear; that pride spent the majority of their winter to the east of Londolozi in the Sand River, then during the rainy season when water was everywhere they would disperse more and spend most of their time on Londolozi’s central and western areas.

The pride’s movements aside, a number of cubs have been seen on the reserve over the past few weeks, and we suspect that there may be substantially more than 10 all told. Maybe even as high as 15 by now. If that is the case, the pride is numbering over 20 individuals!

*This image is copyright of its original author

The older cubs (6 of them, between two females) are closing in on 4 months.

Then there are a reported 4 cubs (also between two females) still being kept in the Sand River to the east of Londolozi, but latest reports suggest there are only two. Whether the other two have been killed or are simply being hidden somewhere else we are not sure.

A fifth lioness has given birth to 5 cubs, which isn’t common at all as the largest litters we generally see here are 4. These 5 are still very small and have only been seen on a few occasions.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The sixth and final lioness has some question marks over her. She has been spending her time predominantly in the Sand River downstream from the Londolozi camps, by herself, although occasionally she is in company with one or more of the Birmingham males. A number of rangers have reported that she looks heavily pregnant. Isolating herself from the pride is also typical behaviour from a lioness about to give birth, and the Sand River holds a number of dense debris piles among which a lioness could easily conceal her cubs.

Should she birth a litter, we are looking at at least five, and possibly all six lionesses with cubs. It is usually only at around 6 weeks old that a lioness will introduce her cubs to the rest of the pride, but imagine a scenario in which all the cubs are together?! Yes the mortality rate for young lions is high, but if the Mhangeni pride could raise 9 out of 10 on their first try (6 of which became the Ntsevu pride), there’s no reason why there progeny couldn’t perform a similar feat.

The success of this Tsalala lineage has been heart-warming to watch. Through the change-over from the Mapogo to the Majingilane, the original 4 Mhangeni females survived to reproduce, mating with the Majingilane themselves to raise 9 out of 10 cubs through to independence. Have a look at this footage from 2013, with that first batch of cubs on a zebra the adult lionesses had brought down the night before. 6 of the small ones you see here are the Ntsevu females when they were very young:



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Australia Herekitty Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-11-2018, 09:36 AM by Herekitty )

Ntsevu/Kambula with cub at MalaMala. Image by Andrew Danckwerts, November 8, 2018

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Might only be four of the fifth Kambulas' cubs left. Video by Michael Tilley, November 10, 2018
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Credits to ranger Liam Henderson - MalaMala Game Reserve.

Photo of Kambula lioness & cub.

MALAMALA update:


November 8th-10th
The Gowrie males, lionesses from the Kambula pride and 13 of their cubs accounted for all but one of the sightings. We witnessed 2 kills - One of the males killed an impala near MalaMala Camp and the mother of the 5 cubs killed an impala near Maxim’s Lookout.

November 6th & 7th
We just can’t get enough of these lion cubs! The recent wave of cubs born into the Kambula pride have kept us thoroughly entertained lately and that trend continued over the last 48hrs. Yesterday 3 lionesses with 8 of their cubs were feeding off a nyala kill in the Sand River north of West Street Bridge while a 4th lioness and her 5 cubs were viewed a tad further north at their den near Maxim’s Lookout. The latter were viewed at the same location today while the others were joined by 2 of the Gowrie males at West Street Bridge. Both males were viewed separately yesterday. 

*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Like night-watchmen they patrol the dark nights; marching with intent and chasing all those unwanted into the shadows…those that do not run are removed’
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United States Peteporker Offline
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Herekitty Wrote:andbeyondKirkmansKamp: here at Kirkman's Kamp bordering the Kruger National Park, we are very lucky that we see different and new animals on a regular basis.
The Fourways Pride - a Pride we rarely see - recently patrolled all the way to our shores of the Sand River.
Pictured is a fully grown male Lion, who has joined the Pride and is being seen regularly with them.

*This image is copyright of its original author
Kirkman's Kamp said this male is a Torchwood male sired by the Matimbas (said to be born in 2012). Does anyone have history on this male? Does he have brothers or a coalition partner? I wonder why he is tolerating the two male subs from the fourways pride that were fathered by the Matshapiri males. I wonder if he is going to form a coalition with the two male subs since they are over 3 years old now.
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Australia Herekitty Offline
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MALAMALA TODAY: November 11th&12th. 9 lion sightings: The Kambula pride and 13 of their cubs accounted for 6 of the sightings. The lionesses will have their work cut out going forward as all of the cubs are starting to eat meat now. 2 nyala bulls fell victim to the pride’s growing appetite. One of the Gowrie males was seen with one of the Kambula lionesses at Maxim’s Lookout. The Styx pride were viewed on both days and during one of the sightings a Cape hunting dog was killed by one of the lionesses. To see one of the world’s most endangered carnivores expire is always heartbreaking but such is nature. The Eyrefield pride were at Calabash Crossing. Styx Pride by Reggi Barreto.

*This image is copyright of its original author
Kambulas by Peter Van Wyk.
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United States vinodkumarn Offline
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TSALALA LIONS SPOIL GUESTS

We recently saw an old female giraffe hanging around near Tinga Lodge.
She was very thin and limping on her left front leg. We weren’t sure if this was caused by an injury, or if it was just from old age.
The afternoon before she died, we found the tracks of the three Tsalala lions coming from the south, heading towards Tinga. The tracks crossed the river, and though we could not find them, we knew they were in the area.

*This image is copyright of its original author
The following morning, we picked up on their tracks only a few minutes outside of Tinga Lodge. One of the trackers started following them and then reported that he had located a giraffe carcass.
We went to investigate in our vehicles, and found the Tsalala males there. When we arrived, one was feeding while the other two rested nearby, and then shortly after all three stood up and were feeding together.

*This image is copyright of its original author
This was clearly the old female we had seen around the lodge. We aren’t sure if she died on her own or was taken down by the lions.
The size of the carcass also drew in quite a large crowd of other scavengers, including vultures and hyenas.

*This image is copyright of its original author
The lions guarded their carcass for a few days, then the other animals moved in once they had finished.

*This image is copyright of its original author
It was a real treat for us as guides to know exactly where to take guests from Tinga and Narina to see lions for those few days.
Words by Willie Pienaar
Photos by Charlotte Arthun
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Australia Herekitty Offline
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The young Othowa male put on a great show for us. Image by joffersphotography at Singita, November 14, 2018

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Australia Herekitty Offline
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Southern Avoca male looking good at Lion Sands. Image by Kelwan Rudi Kaiser, November 14, 2018

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Australia Herekitty Offline
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It's not often that we get to see the elusive Tsalala lions for a few days at a time. Image by Willie Pienaar at Lion Sands, November 14, 2018

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Australia Herekitty Offline
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Mohican northern Avoca looking good. Image by Gary Mills at Djuma, November 14, 2018

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Australia Herekitty Offline
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CHITWA CHITWA: Of late the Nkuhumas have been pressing ever further eastward into the Styx pride's territory causing the Styx to spend more time south of our traversable area than is usual in order to keep away from them. Image by guide Sheldon Evan Hooper, November 14, 2018
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Australia Herekitty Offline
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The less dominant bro from the Southern Avocas certainly looks to have filled out and lost his mohawk. Image by Willie Pienaar at Lion Sands, November 15, 2018

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Greece Mohawk4 Offline
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Prince Othawa and Mhangeni lioness in the Manyalethi river at Londolozi,South Africa
photo by Anthony Goldman, taken October 2018



*This image is copyright of its original author
‘Majingilane’ watchmen who patrol the night, marching with intent, never altering their course...
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Sweden Potato Offline
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Isn't mohawk maned Avoca the dominant one?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWJrqzEgHt0
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Greece Mohawk4 Offline
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I read in the net that young Talamati male kicked out from the Avocas....Is this true and how far is from the Othawa prince and mhangeni pride?
Othawa must find a partner but the problem now is that he is with a pride and maybe thinks that he is the dominant male.....
‘Majingilane’ watchmen who patrol the night, marching with intent, never altering their course...
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