A few weeks ago we published the first ever footage taken of the four new Tsalala pride cubs. Spending much of their time up on the rocks at Marthly Pools, the new pride have continued to use this area as a den site and now, more aptly, a play site.
As is the case with vulnerable new cubs, the Tsalala Lioness has periodically moved them away from the site as well. Not willing to risk the threat of hyenas, it is important that the cubs are also exposed to new environment and exercise. Both the four cubs and the Tsalala lionesses have been spotted west of Marthly Pools, in various different locations throughout the Manyelethi River. This lush riverine paradise is both thick and ripe with prey.
All four cubs are stunningly cute, however there is one which stands out. One cub who is slightly smaller and has an unfortunate limp in his back leg. Out of the four cubs he is the smallest and, sadly, the runt of the litter. His disability is not noticeable until he starts walking and lags behind the movement of the pride. He is also, of course, the cub which we are most interested in seeing if he matures to adulthood. There is something evocative about survival against the odds and there is something inspiring about the way in which lions seem to continue to do this….
Although the cubs are still suckling, their mother needs to hunt to maintain her strength. Together with the other Tsalala lioness, the pair are working together to ensure that the rebirth of the Tsalala pride continues to be successful. The second lioness was captured mating with one of the Majingilane Coalition by Tree Camp guest, Ben Ford. Time will only tell if she falls pregnant or not, however the potential for the longevity of this pride once again provides enormous excitement.
Cubs Filmed by: John Holley
Mating Pair Filmed by: Ben Ford (Londolozi Guest)
Photographed by: Rich Laburn