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Lions of Timbavati

Australia Herekitty Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-29-2019, 02:17 PM by Herekitty )

The Giraffe male Brutus (known as old Avoca male) died two weeks ago near Manyeleti gate. He was easily identified by the scar under his left nostril. Theories from local Rangers suggest the Mbiri pride may have killed him as he had been lame and scavenging food for months, or possibly the Orpen males who are now mating with the Nharus. He was succeeded by his brother, the big Giraffe male with the network of scars on his nose. RIP one of the biggest lions ever seen in Manyeleti and father of the Avoca boys among others.


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(02-14-2019, 01:31 PM)Ziggi Wrote: 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.
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Sweden Potato Offline
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April at Timbavati

5 APRIL 2019
Less of a highlight were the lions this week. The Mayambula Pride remained very elusive, with only one sighting of a lone lioness. The lioness with the youngest cubs was reported at a new den site, but despite keeping an eye on the area, she was not seen. Adding to the frustrations was the fact that almost every day, we were finding tracks for what is presumably a portion of the River Pride to the east of camp, but the pride didn’t show themselves once. Fortunately, the Zebenine Pride were a little more evident, and were seen on a few occasions in the south-west – an area that now seems to be their preferred hunting spot. After leaving them setting off on the hunt one evening, they were relocated the following day on yet another wildebeest kill, resulting in some fantastic looking fat-bellied cubs! The Mbiri males started the week off with a buffalo calf kill to the far west of their territory, but then remained out of view for the week until they were found crossing off our western boundary at the end of the week; this after they covered around at least 16km worth of territorial patrols in the eastern section of their territory. With such big distances covered each night, no wonder we are having trouble keeping up with them! 

12 APRIL 2019
The lioness mentioned above was the lone Mayambula lioness with the two smallest cubs, fortunately with the den site being found, we then managed to see her several times during the week with the two healthy looking cubs. Despite still being alone, she is doing a great job of keeping both herself and the cubs in very good condition. The remaining portion of the pride was only found once this week on our very southern boundary, but reports suggest that all eight cubs are still with them. After moaning a little about the lions’ behaviour last week, they redeemed themselves this week and the Zebenine Pride, who spent the whole week in the company of the Mbiri males, were seen most days. As the week drew to a close, the Mbiri males split off with the lioness without cubs, and this could be a precursor to some upcoming mating activity. As for the River Pride, the constant presence of lion tracks in the east eventually led to us finding three of the young males on their own a couple of times this week; it took us a while to figure out who they were, as they are so calm with the vehicles that they are like a different pride compared to a year ago! The youngest of the males was sporting a number of bite and scratch marks that indicated that these boys have had an altercation with other lions in the area. Where the other six members of the pride are remains a mystery. Regardless, the lions of the central Timbavati provided us with lovely game viewing on a daily basis this week. 


19 APRIL 2019
I was out doing bush work when I saw a large wake of vultures taking off from deep inside a block near our southern boundary, before they descended in a hurry again. Knowing that the lions’ tracks had been in that area, I decided to go and check what had very obviously died. Arriving in the area, I had a bad feeling, and I could see that whatever the vultures were eating was not a large animal. As I moved closer, the vultures took flight and the sinking feeling hit when I saw the unmistakable sight of four lion paws lying scattered on the ground as the dust settled. The previous night, we had seen the female cub and the “aunt” in the company of the Mbiri males, and I was immediately concerned as to where the young male cub might have been. This find may well have explained where he was, but it was a long way off explaining what had happened to him. More concerning for me was the absence of the mother lioness, and as the week passed there was still no sign of her. Only time will tell what her fate is, but we obviously all hope that she is alive and well and can continue to raise her daughter to adulthood. As for the Mbiri males, the day we found the dead cub they were found in the far west having a go at the young males from the River Pride; hopefully this will be a message enough for the River Pride to stay out of the Mbiri’s territory. On a more positive note, the Mayambula Pride spent much of the week within our concession (albeit largely out of view), and all of their cubs are doing very well, and growing quickly! The fourth lioness still hasn’t joined the pride, and appears to have moved den sites, as we haven’t seen any sign of her this week.  


26 APRIL 2019
Welcome back to your weekly update from the heart of the Greater Kruger! Following last week’s blog, I am sure that many of you have been wondering about the outcome of the missing Zebenine Pride’s mother lioness. Sadly, things are not looking good for a positive outcome, and a week after finding the remains of the dead cub, there has still been no sign of the mother. The other lioness was only seen on one occasion but walking around alone. The next day there were tracks for her and the remaining cub, but no confirmed sightings were had of either of them as the week progressed. If it is the case that the lioness was also killed, this is a disaster for the future of the pride and raises a number of questions. Most pressing of which would be whether or not the lioness will look after the remaining cub? If she doesn’t and the female cub dies, what will she do as a lone lioness? It is not impossible to survive as a single lion, but life will be considerably more difficult for her. Time will tell whether or not she stays within the concession, or if she will be forced out by other lions. The four River Pride lionesses seem to be on their own now and could well decide to push more into the heart of the prime Zebenine territory, especially if the Mbiri males were to take control of the pride.  

For now, though, the Mbiri males have been biding their time between the Mayambula Pride and their own territorial activities. The first half of the week saw some good viewing of the Mayambula Pride with the eight cubs, and later in the week, the lone lioness with her two cubs was seen feasting on a large kudu kill that she had made. In the west, the Giraffe Pride were around over the long weekend, but they had a run in with a pack of wild dogs and sadly ended up killing one of the pack members. 



Source:
http://www.tandatula.com/blog


Mbiri's run in with the River pride males:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=919EArYhWoE

Other 2 manage to escape and that one was catch although he stand his ground and also made it alive.
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Sweden Potato Offline
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Tanda Tula update

3.05.2019

To begin with, many must be wondering about the Zebenine Pride of lions and what their fate is, but sadly, I am not in a position to give you all of the answers! Another week passed without any sightings of them, although tracks for a lioness and sub-adult were seen back in the central part of their territory for the first time in months. On one of the days I was off, one of the guides from a neighbouring camp claims that he actually picked up tracks for two lionesses and a sub-adult in the same area. Could it possibly be that the mother lioness did not die, and somehow was just separated from her sister and daughter for all this time? I will be honest, I am a little sceptical at this news of the tracks, not because I don’t believe the guide, but more because I don’t want to start thinking that she is alive and the pride is alright, only to then find out that she isn’t. I guess we will just have to wait another week to see if there are any confirmed sightings of our once stable go-to pride of lions.  
 
The Mayambula Pride were once again scarce this week, with only the odd report of the lionesses to the south of our concession. Fortunately, though, we did get lucky with the lone lioness and her growing cubs in the east on a few occasions as she moved back to the old den site with them. So, another week has come and gone without her reuniting with the pride, but still looks to be in great shape and clearly not feeling the effects of being the sole provider for the cubs! 

The Mbiri males were found early in the week gorging themselves on a wildebeest in the south-west, then following on from that, they moved straight across the concession and unfortunately killed a buffalo about a kilometre north of our boundary. My suspicions are that the River Pride (four females and two males) that had spent three days in the north-eastern part of our concession possibly drew the attention of our dominant males, and on arriving in the north managed to find themselves a very good meal! The Giraffe Pride of lions with the Black Dam male were also seen on two days in the far west of the concession, and luckily, didn’t kill any wild dogs this week! 

Source:
http://www.tandatula.com/blog/posts/a-week-of-autumn-in-pictures?fbclid=IwAR3b-PaqBypNpU3OPDyWevLIQjWg-2JIfI-C9rNxZavEftq5U2v8ARvPGcw
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Mohawk4 Offline
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Don't mess with the ladies(Kudyela pride i think)



‘Majingilane’ watchmen who patrol the night, marching with intent, never altering their course...
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Sweden Potato Offline
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Tanda Tula update

5.07.2019
The week-that-was was a slightly tough one for us, as after days of uncertainty and hope regarding the outcome of the Zebenine lioness that was attacked by the Mayambula Pride last week. At the start of the week, our trackers did an excellent job of tracking down one of the lionesses with the year-old female with a kudu kill, and when they made their way back to the den site the next day, I was hopeful that the mother of the new cubs was still around. Sadly though, when I heard that the two-week-old cub was out of the den site and crying for milk, my heart sank. Surely if the mother had died, would we not have found her remains? That question was answered a few days later when gathering vultures drew our attention to an area very close to where she was last seen, and sure enough, deep in the block, the remains of the mother lioness were found being fed upon by a hyena.
It was a strange sight to see this once proud lioness lying lifelessly as natures scavengers returned her to the earth. Even stranger was then watching (what was for me) a new, young male leopard stalk up to her carcass and begin feeding as soon as the hyena moved off. At first, I assumed that the caution he showed was due to the hyenas in the area, but that idea was dispelled when, after a lengthy approach to the carcass, he started feeding and the crunching drew the attention of a nearby hyena that came to see who was eating the carcass. I expected the leopard to bolt off at the first sight of the hyena, but he didn’t even so much as react with a snarl as the hyena approached! From this reaction, I can only assume that his trepidation was more related to walking up to something that still looked very much like a lion with the intention of making dinner out of it. Sadly, the confirmation of the loss of the mother lioness not only seals the fate of her new-born litter of cubs, but it will now test the remaining lioness’s ability as a mother and provider for her year-old daughter. The subadult is not yet of an age to contribute towards any hunts and is about 6-8 months away from being of any use in that regard.
It will be a defining period in this pride’s future; if the remaining lioness can provide for herself and her daughter for the next few months, they will then be in a position to start rebuilding the pride. If she is unable to do that, this may well be the start of the end of the Zebenine Pride. Fortunately, nature has a habit of surprising us, and I am mildly confident that under the protection of the Mbiri males, these two lionesses will be able to make it through this trying period. Our lion stars from last week were a little less cooperative this week, but we still saw the Mayambula Pride on most days this week; they moved well west of their typical range and found a safe spot to leave the cubs as the lionesses spent the week hunting in the western part of the concession. Although we didn’t see them on any kills, their rounded bellies told of unseen hunting successes. The Mbiri males made a rare trip to the eastern part of their territory this week, and it was wonderful waking up to their roars on several occasions this past week. They definitely put the hard yards in on the territorial patrolling front and were also seen way to the west of their range feeding on a buffalo calf which they had stolen from the two Ross lionesses. These same two lionesses had been found the day before in the presence of the Black Dam male - it would have been interesting to have seen the outcome around the buffalo kill had he been present! There were no sightings of the River or Giraffe Prides this week.

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Source:
http://www.tandatula.com/blog/posts/a-week-of-uncertainty-in-pictures?fbclid=IwAR2LQhPFygK2bmuSW7mloOlt0ie2CmAr8I-DdsQcIq6bDFyGUN2zy2mTrhw
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Sweden Potato Offline
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Tanda Tula update:

12.07.2019
The most memorable sighting of the week though, was the death of a large male giraffe which brought many predators to enjoy the plentiful bounty. There were hundreds of vultures, an entire clan of hyena and ultimately a pride of sixteen lions. The drama started with us spotting vultures swooping in from far and wide on investigation we discovered a giraffe carcass which had most likely died from natural causes or even a repercussion of fighting. The vultures lacked the means to open a carcass of this magnitude and so they had to wait patiently for something larger to come along and perform the task. CUE THE HYENAS! At the height of it all there must have been close to thirty hyena gorging, laughing, fighting and chasing each other around the area in what can only be described as nature’s greatest comedy. Every now and then the vultures would try to get through the ranks of hyena, in search of a morsel of food, only to be chased off. Time and time again they would try, some making off with nothing and some making off with a delicious meal. The drama of it all was incredible. 

The next morning, all around the dead giraffe, lay some heavily overweight hyena struggling to keep their eyes open while others continued feeding on the carcass. All the while, the vultures remained patiently on the side knowing that their time would come. By night fall only ten or so hyena remained, the others having moved off to look for a new meal or perhaps lying in a food coma in the surrounding area. During the night things changed, we could vaguely hear the drama unfolding in the distance, with one unmistakable sound - the deep, guttural roar of a lion. The Mbiri males had arrived and they hadn’t come alone either - with them was the entire Mayambula Pride. And so, there we were the next morning watching sixteen lions, two males, four females and ten fat cubs tucking into the remains of the giraffe carcass. I have no idea what really happened that night, but from previous experiences I would guess that the Mbiri males charged in, dispersing the hyenas in a flurry of laughs and dust clouds into the night, and took over what remained. 

Sadly, I do not have an update on the remaining Zebenine lioness along with her sub-adult daughter. The pair have not been seen in the last few days and it would seem that the Mayambula Pride has moved solidly into their territory claiming it as their own. 


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Source:
http://www.tandatula.com/blog/posts/a-week-of-drama?fbclid=IwAR1aQqv-IX18hni1Og4YHne16GVNSQYuPab2Fix330dKVlBXayesgprus5E
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Sweden Potato Offline
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Tanda  Tula update

19.07.2019
The Mayambula pride has been up to their usual antics, having made a small kill early on in the week that helped to sustain them through the following days. Sadly, we only found this kill once the meal was done, but luckily that didn’t hamper the sighting one bit. The pride was lazing about in the afternoon glow before slowly getting up and moving off into the night. They haven’t moved far over the last few days, enjoying a spot just south of Tanda Tula Safari Camp for a while now. Afterall, moving around with 10 cubs can be a fairly tricky exercise especially when said cubs are always getting in the way.  
 
The Mbiri males have been keeping our guests awake with endless roaring as they move around the area in their never-ending quest to protect the boarders of their territory, and thus the many cubs and females that are found within it. We caught up with one of the males early one morning as he quickly moved towards a nearby watering hole in order to quench his thirst. Stopping every once in a while to call out loudly into the bush and hoping for an answer from his brother or one of his pride members. In the end, he eventually located the Myamabula pride. His brother could be heard calling much further to the south, a clear sign that these males will be reunited soon.

Source:
http://www.tandatula.com/blog/posts/a-week-of-backlighting?fbclid=IwAR19WMCQCMSyQEZhwFuyNW0st5qx4-ZYN0gTGhePFoaGcWxSzaOdxE-qizA
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One  of the two Ross males - terytorial males in southern Timbavati and dominant over Birmingham pride.


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Sweden Potato Offline
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Black Dam male

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( This post was last modified: 08-02-2019, 09:29 PM by Potato )

Tanda Tula update 

26.07.2019

New pride seen in central Timbavati and I guess Mbiris just wouldn't be themselfs if they wouldn't get in fight with somebody :)

It wasn’t just the leopards that were successful, but our Mayambula pride of lions had a blinding week of hunting success. With ten growing cubs to feed, the lionesses are out hunting on a nightly, and even daily basis as they proved this week. Their kill list (that they were seen eating) included a female kudu, a male kudu, a warthog, and a mother and young zebra. Despite their regular big meals, it wasn’t until the last day that their bellies actually looked fat and well rounded – a reminder of just how much food it takes to feed fourteen lions! Their hunting exploits shifted their range further west than the pride has ever moved, and it will be interesting to see how much further their push west extends. Reports of another pride of twelve lions (four lionesses and eight cubs) have started surfacing from the old, more traditional haunts of the Mayambula Pride, but it is not certain if this new pride is the reason for the Mayambula’s movements, or whether they have merely moved into the void left by the pride. 

The Mbiri males spent some time with the pride, but when we caught up with them later in the week, both males were walking with bad limps – nothing to be alarmed about, but a sign that they may well have been involved in another skirmish with some intruding lions. The only sign of the River Pride were tracks on our northern boundary, but no sightings were had of them. As for the poor old Zebenine Pride, I saw them early one morning (both mom and daughter were together) looking very well fed having clearly had a recent meal. But other than that, their tracks revealed that they are focusing their attention on the western sections of the concession, in an area that the Mayambula Pride are increasingly starting to make use of. If this pattern continues, we can expect the Zebenine lioness to move her daughter to safer grounds further west, and into the Klaserie, but only time will tell how this drama will play out. 


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Source:
http://www.tandatula.com/blog/posts/a-week-of-successful-predators-in-pictures?fbclid=IwAR0GMSbjMJ4nywFtIHlxZ1nMxctHXde34DGvWTg0WLRy_mXyp7yTXyxCUS0
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Tanda Tula update

09.08.2019

It wasn’t just the leopards that made us work for our sightings this past week. The ever-reliable Mayambula pride eventually made the move that we feared they would, and for the first time ever crossed out of the Timbavati into the adjoining Klaserie Reserve. This would not have been so bad had they not made a large kill that kept them there for three days before they eventually made their way back east. Despite that, when they were back in the Timbavati they spent most of their time sleeping off full bellies. The best of the sightings was seeing the pride feeding on a large male kudu they had caught the night before. In the absence of the Mayambula Pride, the Zebenine lionesses made some valued appearances, and the mother and her daughter were seen on several days during the past week, they were definitely looking better fed than they had been the previous times. The Mbiri males joined forces with them towards the end of the week before once more breaking off to do some territorial patrolling in the central and western regions. The male’s absence from the eastern sections of Tanda Tula Safari Camp meant that some other lions could come in and explore the surrounds, and this is exactly what three of the young River Pride males did when they were tracked crisscrossing the open areas of the east and south-east, this is the first time this pride has been seen moving in these areas. With the absence of both the Mayambula Pride and the Mbiri males from this area, it is not a surprise that some lions would move in to fill the void.

With at least two large buffalo herds moving between the central and eastern sections of the concession, it won’t be long before these young male lions start pursuing them into Mbiri territory in search of a good meal. The Mbiris did also latch onto one of the breeding herds of buffalo towards the end of the week but sadly were not successful in getting themselves a meal. The giraffe they consumed in Klaserie earlier in the week no doubt left little room in their bellies for much else.

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*This image is copyright of its original author


Source:
http://www.tandatula.com/blog/posts/a-week-of-oppressive-heat-in-pictures?fbclid=IwAR2vR2HhnDClWdETqPu54qri9sEYpmKrQp79fXyxITBTzKPGqQq94tIVw9A
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Note:
I am curious where will 3 River pridee males go. There is lone Mapoza male with Avoca pride not realy far to the south from Tanda Tula... Who knows what future holds for those young coalition.
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Larger Mbiri

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Ross male

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United States sik94 Offline
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These males are quite young and both of them are already showing signs of hip injury issues. Doesn't bode too well for their long-term success.
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