The Tailless female, known by some as BB, must be one of the most well known lions in the Sabi Sands. Identified simply as the Lioness without a tail she is the leader of the renowned Tsalala Pride.
Her tragedy dates back to a hot December in 2005 when she was defiantly trying to protect a carcass from marauding hyenas. Outnumbered, the hyenas caught her and proceeded to rip off her tail just above the base.
Past rangers speculate that she went into hiding and as her condition deteriorated she proceeded to bite the remaining stump off of her tail to prevent further infection. In an amazing show of strength and resilience she pulled through the incident but 3 months later, in March 2006, her litter was down to two males. The Shaw’s Male would later kill one cub and the other would become another legend in his own right, the Tsalala Young Male a.k.a. Solo.
The Tailless female is an elderly lioness born in 1998. She is one lioness who steals the hearts of everyone who comes to know her story. What is striking about her is how much she has gone through in her life. She has witnessed the poaching of her brother by local villagers, the arrival and seemingly evident demise of the Mapogo, and the purging of predators, both lion and leopard, by the intimidating Majingilane brothers.
She is a die-hard, a lioness who is willing to dig deep to ensure the survival of her pride. She has currently taken on the role of a grandmother and teacher, looking after the four sub-adult females born around Feb/March 2009. The other four youngsters, born at the same time, have already succumbed to the onslaught of the Majingilanes.
The Tailless female’s two daughters from 2002 are currently separated from the remainder of the pride. One of these females is believed to have two cubs denned up on Stweiss Koppies, whilst the other has been seen repeatedly mating with the Majingilane brothers.
Written by: Adam Bannister