On the 8th June 2010, one of the Sabi Sand’s most notorious male lions, Kinky-Tail was killed. Since then, the dynamics of lions in the Sabi Sands has changed dramatically. At this stage we are not completely sure of what is happening but the best thing we can provide all you keen followers of these lions is with a blow-by-blow update on the way things have panned out over the last few days. By tying all the sightings and interactions together we are watching the story unfold. Whatever that story may be, it is evident that we are witnessing one of the most fascinating times at Londolozi, and the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, in terms of lion pride dynamics as the future is uncertain.
8 June-The Mapogo Coalition find and kill a member of the new coalition. The member had been separated from the rest of the coalition.
8 June- Kinky Tail is killed and eaten by the new coalition of males that have moved in from the Kruger National Park. This leaves just the Mohawk Male (Satan)
Mohawk male (Satan) has been spending a lot of time with Styx Pride, Tsalala Pride and 3 members of the Sparta Pride who now have 3 very young cubs fathered by the Mapogo Coalition.
27 June- The entire Tsalala Pride (11) plus Mohawk were seen heading east following a large herd of Buffalo. It is thought that they killed a buffalo that night although this occurred east of our boundary.
29 June– The Tail-less female (the grandmother of the Tsalala Pride) was seen with one young female (born March 2009) and one young male (born March 2009). The young male was reported to be badly injured.
29 June – 3 Young females were seen in the Manyelethi Drainage line
29 June – 1 Young male was seen from the Varty Camp Deck. Tracks were found from his spot moving in all directions.
29 June- 2 Adult female members of the Tsalala pride were found near the Sand River. From there they were followed up to Ximpalapala Koppies were they lay up for the day.
29 June – Mohawk Male (Satan) was seen with slight injuries in the river. He appeared to be heading north possibly to link up with the females.
29 June – The 4 new males from the Kruger were seen for the first time at Londolozi moving west across Marthly. That night Mohawk Male was seen and heard roaring at Ximpalapala. Not even 2km away the 4 males heard him and started roaring back. Rangers stuck with them and the 4 headed west but so did Mohawk Male head west avoiding conflict.
30 June – In the morning there were tracks of at least 2 males seemingly chasing Mohawk Male west across our boundary. The report from our western neighbor was that Mohawk Male (Satan) joined up with 3 other Mapogo on a Buffalo kill.
30 June- The Tail-less female was seen on our northern break with a young male eating an impala. The kill was thought to have been robbed, possibly from a leopard. The young male seen with them the day before was no longer present and presumed dead.
30 June- 1 very scared young female was seen alone in the open
Later that day we had tracks of the Tail-less female and one young female heading south on Mahlahle Road.
1 July – Tracks of the 4 new males cross east back into MM. They were found far into MM.
Reports of 2 young lions found dead north of our break (still to be confirmed).
Evidence of a fight at Sunrise crossing in the Manyelethi. Vultures circled, the reason being that a dead lioness was reported. Our neighbors tell us that it is the body of a sub-adult lioness. A sad fate but we are encouraged by the fact that the Tail-less Female may still be alive. If this is the case we are confident this pride can pull through.
With every drive out in the bush we are learning more yet at the same time still very uncertain about what is happening. We will keep you posted as the story continues to unfold…
Written by: Adam Bannister
With thanks to bjanderson for their video of the 2 Mapogo Males fighting with the separated coalition member