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Lions of Timbavati

Argentina Tshokwane Offline
Big Cats Enthusiast
( This post was last modified: 01-14-2019, 08:30 PM by Tshokwane )

Credits to Chad Cocking - TandaTula Safari Camp.


Once more, the week belonged to the lions, with all five of our viewed prides showing themselves on multiple occasions. The Zebenine Pride focused their activities centrally within the concession and were seen with full bellies a number of times, including a wonderful sighting of the pride feeding on a baby wildebeest. The Mayambula Pride were also around on an almost daily basis, but our timing had to be spot on before they moved down to the cubs hidden in the Machaton Riverbed.One of the guides did manage to see three small cubs very briefly before they returned to their den site on the river bank. Despite the fleetingness of the sighting, it is a good sign that the cubs are almost ready to be introduced to the wider world! The two Ross lionesses were seen to the west, and based on their bellies, I suspect that they may too be carrying cubs.I fear things won’t be easy for them, as again this week the large Giraffe Pride was found not too far away from their location. To make matters more complicated, the nine members of the River Pride also pitched up in the same area one day and from various reports it appears they had an altercation with the Giraffe Pride that evening. Needless to say, by the end of the week, they were back in more familiar territory to the north, where they spent a day resting.  As the week drew to a close, they even caught a zebra foal. 

The lion mystery of the week though belongs to the mighty Mbiri males. Although they were seen together with the Mayambula Pride at the start of the week, the end of the week saw us finding two separated, and rather battered boys! The smaller male had well and truly been in the wars, with massive bite marks on his forehead, whilst the bigger brother had many scratches on his hind quarters and back. Exactly what happened is anyone’s guess, but there is no doubt that it was from fighting another male lion. At first, I suspected that the brothers may simply have gotten stuck into one another, but such damage seems excessive, even for them. There is a chance that they wandered out of the concession and encountered some rival males that needed to be taught a lesson! The fact that they have returned to their territory and did not run off suggests to me that they may have been the victors. It’s a story I really want to believe, as the last thing the lions need now is the disruption of pride take overs so soon after having had cubs. Although the wounds look nasty, they do appear to be relatively superficial and we are confident that they will both make full recoveries.Should any more news develop about incoming males, we will be sure to share it with you! 

*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
‘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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South Africa Ziggi Offline
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I have been looking at various posts over the past few years about the Giraffe pride and Avoca pride. I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with these two prides over the last 15 years.
The Giraffe pride used to be a big pride with 3 bigger older males and 2 Sub males. The pride eventually split up with 4 lionesses and 9 cubs that formed the Avoca pride. They mainly moved around 5 properties in the south west of Timbavati. The Wiggil property, Klaserie Reserve and Thorneybush reserve was still fenced out at the time. Around 2006 the older males were not there anymore and 3 new males took over the 2 prides. They were the Original 3 Giraffe pride Males. 
Klaserie Reserve that was fenced had the 2 Ross males with the Ross pride. Hunting took place in both reserves at the time and some point 1 Giraffe male disappeared or moved off from the other two males. The Two Ross Males were hunted and the fence between the reserves were dropped just after that time. The Ross pride were without males. The Giraffe males saw the gap and added the Ross pride to their territory. The commercial lodge in the area started naming them the Ross males and others in the area followed suit. Hence my point that these males were the Giraffe males and not the Ross males. The Giraffe males fathered the current males called the Ross Males that is currently moving around Ngala, Orpen, Northern Maneyleti and south west Timbavati. The same Giraffe Males fathered the Rockfig Male that was around Rockfig Lodge in Timbavati and moved later into Kruger Park and was seen around Bobbejaankrans, Mudzanzeni and Talamati area. They also father some other males with Avoca pride that disappeared around ages 2 and 3. The Giraffe Males also had 7 Sub males with the Giraffe pride. The 2 older males from the seven become the New Avoca Males. 2 Males went north and I did not see them again. The other 3 Males moved south and occasionally with the 2 Avoca males. That is where the people started talking about the Avoca/Giraffe coalition.
The second last offspring of the old Giraffe Male was the Young Giraffe male that moved into Thorneybush through a hole that was made in the fence a few weeks before the fence got removed. He was not brothers of the same age than the others. That is the male that took over the Blackdam pride.
The 2 Avoca Males fathered 5 young Males in the Avoca pride of which 2 disappeared and the other 3 moved into Manyleti and Sabi Sands.
The 2 Ross Males moved south and took over the Avoca pride. They fathered 7 cubs with 2 lionesses and the other 5 lionesses had 7 cubs with the Sumatra Males that moved a bit south. The 1 Sumatra male disappeared and the Ross males killed the 7 cubs. The 2 remaining lionesses with 7 cubs were sick and eventually died with the cubs also not making it. One of the last 3 was killed by a Ross male at a kill with other lionesses from Ngala. The Ross Males moved towards Ngala. The Trilogy Males took over the Giraffe pride from the old Giraffe male and killed all 11 cubs including 4 white cubs. One of the Trilogy males died up north somewhere and the newly arrived Mapoza males took over the Giraffe pride. Not sure what happened to 1 of the Trilogy males but one moved into Thorneybush reserve. 1 Maposa male disappeared and the Blackdam Male took over the Giraffe pride and the remaining Maposa took over the Avoca pride.  There is currently 6 bigger cubs in Giraffe pride and 2 younger cubs. There is new cubs in Avoca pride but were not seen yet.
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India sanjay Offline
Wildanimal Enthusiast

Welcome to the forum @Ziggi. Thank you for sharing your experience on Giraffe pride and Avoca pride
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Greece Mohawk4 Offline

As the Black Dam male explores further East it was inevitable that he would find the Mapoza male. Yesterday he was chasing the much less dominant Mapoza around in his own territory. Here, they take a rest before Mapoza made another run for it with the Black Dam male following behind, vocalizing. It will be interesting to see what comes of this in the future!

Credits to Byron In the Bush

‘Majingilane’ watchmen who patrol the night, marching with intent, never altering their course...
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