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The Birmingham Males

Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#1
( This post was last modified: 07-15-2015, 11:10 PM by Tshokwane )

War is coming...
The five Birmingham males have been seen in Majingilane territory( Elephant plains and apparently the territory where the Othawa pride is), killing a buffalo yesterday.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author
It's amazing(but not unexpected) how much they have grown since they were kicked out by the Selatis and, walking in Majingilane territory and even roaring(a serious and risky move, since roars are mostly used to signal you claim in a territory) shows that change can be coming really quickly to the lion world.
At full force,4 older, more experienced kings vs 5 younger brutes I completely back the Majingilane. They know how the game is played, they know what they have to do and how to win it.
On the other hand, the Birmingham males are at least 6 years younger than the Majingilane.

This is the oldest(4 years old), the blond male, one of the most beautiful young males in the Sabi sands

*This image is copyright of its original author

And it's clear that a 5 vs 2 battle, as usually the Majingilane split when patrolling, is a lost cause for the older males, and eventually this could balance ther outcome of the warfare to the Birmingham side. The same and more can be said if the caught one of them alone..

On the other hand, there is the presence of the two Matimba males. I have been told that both coalitions are slightly related, but since the danger of in-breeding is only real after several generations, maybe the Birmingham males will prefer to tackle this males instead. Granted, both Southern Matimbas are beasts of nature, really big males, but like I always try to point out, number are everything in the lion world.
So what is going to happen? I don't know. But I'm sticking to lions pages in facebook and wildlife blogs to get to know everything about it and, who knows, maybe we get lucky enough to witness it in a video, like 3 and 5 years ago.
Can you imagine the privilege of seeing all of these powerful males fighting and roaring for their territory?...

 
‘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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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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It's the most amazing time to be following lions. And to somewhat celebrate the new look of the forum, yesterday there was an amazing sighting, aired by the Wildearth safari live. 
While I couldn't watch it live, because the am streaming is aired when here in my country is the night, I could catch some parts of it, and facebook was a mess of activity, with everyone talking about the new kids of the bloc, the Birmingham males. I could find a shorter video, showing some of the highlights of what happened.




This aren't just any males the Birmingham are challenging, but the powerful southern Matimba males. Now, I recognize that they are just testing the waters, to see who they're up against, and that they still lack some confidence, but being scent marking in the middle of Matimba territory and roaring directly at them is a big, neon light shining sign that they're for real. 
[video=facebook]http://www.facebook.com/CheetahPlains/videos/vb.278177142234741/971772616208520/?type=2&theater[/video]
And it doesn't end here. They charged at the Matimba males, pushing them off their kill and made them run, as in some part of the video is stated.
Of course, the Matimbas regained their confidence and pushed them back and I heard in other of the videos that one of the Birminghams has a limp(that can also have something to do with the buffalo kill they made). 
Today they finished their kill and moved north, but the times are changing fast, and with the great numerical advantage they have, I think the Matimbas have a big trouble in their paws.

*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


*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


*This image is copyright of its original author

The five boys after the encounter with the Matimba males

*This image is copyright of its original author

Watch out everyone, because this boys are here to stay...
‘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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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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The action continues in the Sabi sands, with the Birmingham males as the main actors.
Last night, they killed an adult lioness of the Nkuhuma pride and fed on her. 

*This image is copyright of its original author

Today, they found the Nkuhuma pride again while they were battling against a buffalo, and pushed them off it, finishing the kill themselves.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

In addition to this, something very interesting happened while they Birmingham approached the Nkuhumas. The young male, who is usually referred as Junior, stood up for a while against one(or two) of the Birmingham males in a quite fearless way, considering that he could be beaten badly or even killed by the B boys, even more so considering what happened to that lioness. 
[video=facebook]http://www.facebook.com/CheetahPlains/videos/vb.278177142234741/972825902769858/?type=2&theater[/video]
But still, it shows us a bit more of the amazing world of lion behaviour, this time with the Birmingham coalition creating havoc in the north of the Sabi sands, as they build up their confidence more and more until they are ready to try a take over.
‘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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India sanjay Offline
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#4
( This post was last modified: 08-12-2015, 05:44 PM by sanjay )

2 styx lion cubs have been killed by the Birmingham males lions.

It has been an unfortunate morning. The two female Styx lion cubs have been killed by the 5 Birmingham males. The male cub was seen running away with two Styx females in the direction of the rest of the pride and the 2 Matimbas.
We think the two lionesses had gone to fetch the cubs they had hidden the previous night, and were moving in the direction of the pride when the five Birmingham males found them. One of the males carried one of the carcasses north, far away from the scene. This is a natural process and is very common behaviour for lions.
This was an incredible sighting, tragic as it may be. This is Nature's way, and we are there be observe, learn and (sometimes) enjoy.


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*This image is copyright of its original author


Credit to: Arathusa Safari Lodge
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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Thank you @sanjay , great pictures and info.
It's the first time, at least for me, of seeing a takover right when it's happening and how changing each day is.
One thing is for certain. If this continues this way, with this boys pushing thier weight around every day more and more, the Matimbas days are counted and we can expect a battle, even sooner than I expected.
‘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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India sanjay Offline
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#6

I agree, I see everyone has lot of expectation with them form the beginning. They are not only threat for Matiamba but also for other lion coalition, they will be in trouble sooner or later. Its not easy to compete with 5 strong male.
I have heard that originally they were 7, so where did the remaining 2 goes ?
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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I don't recall reading about them being seven, but I did found this bit:
Back in October 2013, these males were reported by Tintswalo Safari Lodge as being part of a large pride of lions, called Birmingham or Orpen pride. They consisted of 22 Lions, of which were several young males, and are related to the Koppies and Mbiri females. Birmingham male lions facebook page.
So yes, easily there could have been more males in the coalition, but since that is a huge number they tend to separate and form a smaller coalition, sometimes it helps when the food is scarce.

Yesterday and today they were found again, including a couple of nice sightings.
Here they are roaring, we can listen from a distance.




And here again, it's so amazing to hear them roar all over you.



+

Some pics of the boys:
This one is the older male, usually referred to as Blondie

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

 
Some of the brothers, look at that stretch

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*This image is copyright of its original author

Blondie again. Funny enough, there was a question asked to the presenter about their size and weight. He said that the Matimbas are probably bigger, he placed Hairy belly in a 250 kg weight(it's obviously an estimation, although one made by someone who sees them daily) and this blond male in a 220-230 kg mark, with the others in a 200-210 kg mark.
My point is to show how BIG this young lads are with the older one about 5 years old and the others around only 4. He also explained that with older age they would stay in a similar weight, but grow a little taller, something that would make them lose some of their bulk.

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*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


Here is the entire am drive of today. Check the markers to find when the lions appear.




Amazing tims to be viewing lions.
‘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 Pckts Online
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Estimations are just that  like you said.
Seems a bit high for a Lion population but certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
I usually saw larger weights to go along with taller shoulder height and body length in older males but exceptions exist.

Big is Big, usually a big cat is a big cub, sub adult, young adult and so on....
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United States tigerluver Offline
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#9

These handsome males are tattooed with scars. Thanks for sharing these updates with us @Majingilane and @sanjay.
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United States lioncrazy Offline
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#10

@majingilane you think the 2 matimbas brothers will call there 4 brothers for help or you think ginger and belly hair will stand alone the b boys look strong
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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@lioncrazy I think the Matimbas are in a tough position right now with this boys putting pressure on them. But no, I don' think they'll do that.
Of course, we can't know for certain what wild animals will do, but the very act of moving together to a new part, conquering a new territory tells me this two are closer to each other than to the other males. To add to that, the other Matimbas are in the north, into Manyeleti and Hairy belly and Ginger went even more into the south, so they are separating more and more.
I also read some time ago that the three Northern Matimbas are being pressured by the 4 young Machaton males, although that time they were able to pushed them away. Still, young males keep the pressure on when they are set on a takeover, and for relaivetly old males, that kind of pressure eventually starts to be too much, something that we can see here. But what is certain is that these males have their own trouble.
So no, I think the southern Matimbas will fight this one on their own, but maybe if one of them is killed, the other one could return to his other brothers, as Mr.T Mapogo did 5 years ago after the death of Kinky tail. That is, of course, if the Birmingham males allow one of them to survive.
We'll have to wait and see what happens, but is a great chance for us to see live a process that has happened over millions of years, and even more understand their behaviour.
‘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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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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(08-13-2015, 09:58 PM)Pckts Wrote: Estimations are just that  like you said.
Seems a bit high for a Lion population but certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
I usually saw larger weights to go along with taller shoulder height and body length in older males but exceptions exist.

Big is Big, usually a big cat is a big cub, sub adult, young adult and so on....

@Pckts and @"Majingilane", now that I have been making comparative images, an idea grow in my mind. Check how big are the "average" tigers and lions, a cat of 180 - 190 cm in head-body and a shoulder height of 100 cm is already a giant! I think , and is my new guess, that all these large tigers and lions in the parks are not "exceptional" specimens and is only the personal appreciation of the non-expert people and photographers what makes them think that those cats are "the largest that they have saw....ever!!!".

A recent post from Pckts, about a photographer saying that the largest tiger that he had saw was one from Sundarbans (sic!), corroborated, at some point, my fears about the "estimations" of the people. I can risk saying that probably all those large lions and large tigers outside, despite they "large" dimensions in pictures, probably are weighing around 200 and 230 kg and just one or two of them (the real large ones) scratch the 250 - 260 kg line. Is my personal guess, but definitely I can't trust in the appreciations of the people, especially when they are impressed.
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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I agree. I always try to give it an anecdotical value to the estimation, but also without putting much thinking into it.
From what I read in different blogs, in his time both Makhulu and Dreadlocks of the Mapogo were considered to be very big males, maybe the old Birmingham male and maybe the old Skybed males. In this days, that goes to Hairy belly, and I agree to some extent, but of course, it also depends from how you look at it(usually the mane tricks you into thinking the male is bigger than it really is).
Luckily for me, the Majingilane males are what I consider to be average male lions, so I take them as a reference when I try to judge the size of another lion.
It's fun to do it, but at the end of the day, I don't think it really matters, at least for them;numbers is the name of the game they play.
‘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 lioncrazy Offline
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#14

@majingilane I agree in my opinion numbers are key in lion warfare even in size of lion cause 4 average lions beat one lion the size of belly hair, mak,and dreadlocks look at the video where Mr T goes down 1 on 1 probably don't happen but 4 one 1 he has no chance!!
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United States Pckts Online
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(08-16-2015, 02:43 AM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(08-13-2015, 09:58 PM)Pckts Wrote: Estimations are just that  like you said.
Seems a bit high for a Lion population but certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
I usually saw larger weights to go along with taller shoulder height and body length in older males but exceptions exist.

Big is Big, usually a big cat is a big cub, sub adult, young adult and so on....

@Pckts and @"Majingilane", now that I have been making comparative images, an idea grow in my mind. Check how big are the "average" tigers and lions, a cat of 180 - 190 cm in head-body and a shoulder height of 100 cm is already a giant! I think , and is my new guess, that all these large tigers and lions in the parks are not "exceptional" specimens and is only the personal appreciation of the non-expert people and photographers what makes them think that those cats are "the largest that they have saw....ever!!!".

A recent post from Pckts, about a photographer saying that the largest tiger that he had saw was one from Sundarbans (sic!), corroborated, at some point, my fears about the "estimations" of the people. I can risk saying that probably all those large lions and large tigers outside, despite they "large" dimensions in pictures, probably are weighing around 200 and 230 kg and just one or two of them (the real large ones) scratch the 250 - 260 kg line. Is my personal guess, but definitely I can't trust in the appreciations of the people, especially when they are impressed.

I agree with this to an extent, I think you must take into account who says this.

If somebody like Sunquist says "it was the largest tiger I ever saw"
Or Packer, than that is something to take a look at.

If its an amateur photographer who has seen a few tiger reserves on vacation says it, than you must take it for what its worth.
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