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Lions of Timbavati

Poland Potato Offline
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(01-03-2024, 09:43 PM)criollo2mil Wrote: havent seen anything on Mayambula Pride
This pride was seen recently on Tanda Tula (check Tanda Tula reports which are posted in this topic) and they are doing good, still 17 members strong.

(01-03-2024, 09:43 PM)criollo2mil Wrote: Birminghma Breakaway Boys
Some Tanda Tula blog reported to hear them roaring further south-east from Tanda Tula arena. They are probably doing good, but settling down further from Timbavati so we will probably not hear about them for a time being at least.
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United States criollo2mil Offline
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(01-04-2024, 03:35 AM)Potato Wrote:
(01-03-2024, 09:43 PM)criollo2mil Wrote: havent seen anything on Mayambula Pride
This pride was seen recently on Tanda Tula (check Tanda Tula reports which are posted in this topic) and they are doing good, still 17 members strong.

(01-03-2024, 09:43 PM)criollo2mil Wrote: Birminghma Breakaway Boys
Some Tanda Tula blog reported to hear them roaring further south-east from Tanda Tula arena. They are probably doing good, but settling down further from Timbavati so we will probably not hear about them for a time being at least.

Thanks for the update. 17 strong for the mayambulas is still very good. Just 3 short of my last account for them.
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Tr1x24 Offline
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Hosi and Socha roaring:

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Biscuit1998 Offline
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Hi all,

I have recently been in the Timbavati on holiday. 

I was horrified to see that a large group (approx. 7) of sub-adult lions in the Western Pride have not eaten in 3 weeks; their bones are jutting out and they can barely move, yet they remain under near-constant observation by tourists in vehicles. The two adult females and large sub-adult male have left the Western Pride, leaving these younger sub-adults under the control of an elderly, disabled male. Whilst on a game drive, I observed land-owners in the reserve callously saying that the sub-adults "wouldn't last". There is also a severe shortage of blue wildebeest in the reserve and an alarming overpopulation of impala. Further, the presence of a coalition of 4 large males (the "river pride") nearby almost guarantees that these Western Pride sub-adults have no chance of survival. 

In light of the fact that the WP's dominant male was trophy-hunted back in 2018, this looks to me like a serious conservation failure on the part of the reserve. Intervention appears necessary. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Poland Potato Offline
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Poland Potato Offline
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New litter of cubs born into Avoca pride


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Poland Potato Offline
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Tanda Tula update

While our lions have not had any more cubs (there was a suspicion that one River Pride lioness had dropped her cubs, this now doesn’t seem as certain), the three litters that were born in the second half of 2023 are all still alive and well.  The Sark Breakaways got the new year off to a cracking start when they caught a young zebra while Scotch and Steven were watching them late one morning.  They continue to pop in and out of our western sections, showing a particular affinity for the areas around Nkhari.  The River Pride are moving great distances, which takes them way north in the Timabvati, but invariably brings them back to our area.  Around Christmas, the pride was seen with a few different kills in the area.  The Vuyela males have been following them north, but after a couple of days of absence, they usually return with a notable need to lay claim to their territory and roar through the night.  One of the Vuyela males was seemingly seen close to the Mayambula Pride while I was on leave.  With seventeen members around, the Vuyela male wasn’t interested in getting too close.  Aside from that sighting, the Mayambulas have not been overly active in the east, with their tracks being seen more than the lions themselves.  In the west, the Giraffe Pride continues to operate around the plains that are also brim-full of game…unless it was the day I went down there and it poured with rain! 


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Poland Potato Offline
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Cath2020 Offline
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( This post was last modified: 01-10-2024, 08:45 PM by Cath2020 )

(01-06-2024, 11:37 AM)Biscuit1998 Wrote: Hi all,

I have recently been in the Timbavati on holiday. 

I was horrified to see that a large group (approx. 7) of sub-adult lions in the Western Pride have not eaten in 3 weeks; their bones are jutting out and they can barely move, yet they remain under near-constant observation by tourists in vehicles. The two adult females and large sub-adult male have left the Western Pride, leaving these younger sub-adults under the control of an elderly, disabled male. Whilst on a game drive, I observed land-owners in the reserve callously saying that the sub-adults "wouldn't last". There is also a severe shortage of blue wildebeest in the reserve and an alarming overpopulation of impala. Further, the presence of a coalition of 4 large males (the "river pride") nearby almost guarantees that these Western Pride sub-adults have no chance of survival. 

In light of the fact that the WP's dominant male was trophy-hunted back in 2018, this looks to me like a serious conservation failure on the part of the reserve. Intervention appears necessary. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated.



Sorry about the lack of response to your concerns.  I was waiting for someone else here to step up with more knowledge about the Timbavati area and perhaps with some insider connections, too, and address your post.

Anyway, since I do not follow the area closely and because of the lack of information about the lions coming from there, I cannot answer as to what is happening about the subs and leader of the Western Pride.  I believe your description of him means that he is still the same male as from years ago, the last Nharhu Male (from a coalition of 3, one of which succumb to TB-like sickness, the other one was killed by the Skorro Males and he was the healthiest).  Are these subs the offspring of this 'disabled' male?  This male has a noticeable limp, but he was defending and being territorial still for a long time (actually longer than most of us here thought he'd be based on his condition).  I'm surprised if he's still the leader!  

When you say they are skinny and haven't eaten for 3 weeks, did the guides/rangers tell you that?  Curious because many lions can get quite skinny quite often, but after a good meal, they can be alright again for another week or so.  If you post pictures of the subs here, and we all can see with our own eyes how they look, that could also be very impressionable. Typically the reserves do not intervene if the starvation is deemed 'natural' and not man-made.

Sounds like you were disappointed with what you experienced.  Before going to another reserve, I'd definitely research the area thoroughly beforehand.  Yes, there was a famous lion that got trophy-hunted around the time you mentioned, and it was controversial. They got a lot of flack and bad press for that mishap.  He was not supposed to be the one shot (as he was a pride leader, well-known, with young cubs/subs), but another lion was supposedly.... I don't agree with any trophy hunting, regardless, but we'll leave it at that.  I'm not even sure if the trophy hunted lion was the leader specifically of the Western Pride, can't recall, but he could be.
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Duco Ndona Online
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Death is a constant in nature. Off cource when going on a safari, we all hope to see those hear adorable scenes of cubs playing while mom takes a well earned nap in the sun. But things are only as idyllic in the first year of a lions life, and only if things go right. 

Sadly your visit occured in a moment of the prides history that they are on their most stressed. The little cubs have grown into hungry teenagers putting huge stress on their mothers to secure enough food for everybody. Meanwhile their protecting coalition appears to be in bad shape and a takeover is near. 

I dont have the exact history of the pride myself, but If I am to speculate, the lionesses are likely avoiding the subs to avoid them being killed by the new males and to ensure they themselves are getting enough food (With one subadult male being stubborn enough to follow them rather his brothers and sisters). They probably still join up occasionally, but not enough to sustain the larger subadult group. 

This resulted in the young lions largely being largely left to fend on their own aside from disabled male and sadly it seems, they are much to young to survive on their own for a group of that size. Sadly this is not the first time we saw this happen. Most famously a few year back with the Mangheni twelve. 

As this is all part of nature, the reserve is not likely to intervene. I think most people here agree with that for various reasons. But I can get why it can be disappointing as a tourist. 
Though I am not as pessimistic as the guides. Lions are resilient animals and have beaten the odds countless of times. Even the Mangheni twelve had survivors and this group will probably have as well.
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United States afortich Offline
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(01-10-2024, 05:59 PM)Potato Wrote:




What happened to the fourth BDM boy??
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Friarfan619 Online
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Read he's getting dark Mane Avoca treatment. But that was a while ago.
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United States kobe8jf1234 Offline
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(01-11-2024, 06:11 AM)Friarfan619 Wrote: Read he's getting dark Mane Avoca treatment. But that was a while ago.

what does that mean there split or he just mating with female for now ?
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Friarfan619 Online
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I've only seen they chased him off a kill.
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United States afortich Offline
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(01-11-2024, 06:11 AM)Friarfan619 Wrote: Read he's getting dark Mane Avoca treatment. But that was a while ago.

Thanks. Hope is not the case now.
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