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Rich Laburn

Head of Digital

Rich is the driving force behind Londolozi’s online storytelling and the founder of the Londolozi blog. His passions of digital media, film and photography have seen him build Londolozi's online ecosystem into a unique platform for advocacy of the restoration and rewilding of ...

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67 Comments

on Lion Warfare – The End of an Era

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Sheila Patel
Member
Guest

Thanks for sharing the video and the article with the stats.
Mr T did put up a valiant fight. It was very sad and heartbreaking. But this is a natural occurence and was going to happen soon as the Mopogos are old.
Your article has helped understand some of the reality and put things into perspective. Lets hope the sizes of the lion prides will increase with the new younger males in dominance.
Sheila

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

I hope so too Sheila, the old guard is certainly crumbling and new dynamics will certainly come into play. The Southern Pride males are still young, however there are a number of them and this will play to their strength in securing this area as a stable territory.

Victor
Member
Guest

I just watched this very insightful documentary told as it should be brutally honest and ruthless. In my opinion Mr T destroyed everything in his path the other lions then the first coalition an the later once accepted again killed all his brothers offspring. He left nothing no heirs to his kingdom only destruction. His death was horrible i was glad his reign was over but saddened on how he was dealt the same violent an unforgiving death. i agree 100% I hope the new lions will be more productive

al
Member
Guest

I feel the Majingilanes will zero in on them at some point soon. They’ve been vying the Western sector for some time now. Furthermore, the Matimbas will push further South soon. Wouldn’t really agree on the little competition for these males as there’s just too many of them in separate coalitions at the moment.

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

I disagree Al, the Majingilane already have a massive territory and are dominant over two, perhaps three different prides of lionesses. There is no need for them to move west and get into conflict which will only serve to injure or harm them.

Who knows about the Matimbas, but you must realize that these coalitions only push into other males territories when there is pressure on their own territories that they cannot get rid of. It was only natural that the Southern Pride males went west as they had nowhere else to go with the Majingilanes to the east and north and the Toulon & Kruger males to the south.

The only competition for the Southern Pride males now are the remaining Mapogo (who will get picked off eventually) and the Nkhuma male in Ottowa. The Majingilane have no reason to go west so they are not competition just yet. The entire western sector is theirs for the taking, so long as they function together. rich

Jamie Adams
Member
Guest

Horrible to see one of the big boys go, but time stands still for nothing. Mr T made sure many other lions were dealt the same ending as this. Its fitting that the onld Soldier went out on his shield. He can join up with Kinky Tail again and roam the lands of the sky. RIP Mr T.

Kk
Member
Guest

I wonder what will become of the Tsalala four and BB? Are they old enough to be considered potential mates or will the southern pride males kill them off too?

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Hi Kk, the Tsalala four and BB are in Marthly which is quite a long way from the western sector where the Southern Pride are now roaming. The Tsalala pride are still living under Majingilane held territory and as such it is doubtful that the Southern pride males will have anything to do with them so long as they remain in the western sector.

Jody
Member
Guest

THANK YOU. Your perspective is refreshing and honest and I really appreciate it. Mr T, in particular, was a violent dominant male who, as you have said, truly affected the lions of the Sabi Sands, and not in positive ways. While I mourn his death, he died as he lived. Hopefully, the Southern boys will pursue their dominance is somewhat less lethal ways and our babies will grow to re-popiulate the area.

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Too true Jody. One can only hope that there is a stable takeover and that the dynamics allow for a healthy population of lions to continue to grow.

James Tyrrell
Member
Guest

The Tsalala four have been seen regularly on Marthly, often around Ximpalapala koppie, and slightly further north into Arathusa. It will certainly be interesting to see how they react to this new takeover by the Southern Pride, although they have been in Majingilane terriritory quite a lot recently, possibly keeping them out of reach of the South Pride, as these males are probably still too young to challenge the Majingis.

The tailless lioness (older one) is believed to have given birth to a litter, also possibly on Ximpalapala koppie, but this has yet to be confirmed…

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Nice to hear James, look forward to keeping up to date with this story.

Keith Cox
Member
Guest

Mr T and the Mapogos led a bloody life .and and as is the way of the lion he died in one ,i do hope that with the Mapogos gone that the the lionesses of the various prides can lead a much more stable life and begin to breed and bring some much needed cubs to maturity ,terrific info as always thanks . Keith

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Us too Keith. Thanks for your comments. rich

Keith Cox
Member
Guest

Hi Rich do you think that the Southern Pride coalition will be be strong enough to hold on to to the territory they have taken or is there going to be another period of uncertainty ,with the other coalitions intent on the same thing ,the females could certainly do with a period of stability after the violent reign of the Mapogos , thanks Keith

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Hi Keith, I think there is a good chance that the Southern Pride coalition will hold onto this territory as there are no other males with a similar or greater strength wanting to challenge them. It could be interesting to see if any of the males injure themselves or die as a result of a potential conflict with the remaining Mapogos, however as I mentioned above, the only pressure that they will realistically face may come the Majingilane, who already have a massive territory and probably won’t be looking for any more just yet.

Keith Cox
Member
Guest

Thanks for the info Rich . Keith

Bader
Member
Guest

Thank you. I know this has nothing to do with this subject, but, whatever happened to Solo (Tsalala Male)? any news on him?

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

We are not 100% sure of his movements, however we do know that he is in the southern parts of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

anthony
Member
Guest

Last reported Solo and his 2 partners were eating on a mother elephant who died giving birth. They had eaten the calf and were begining on the mother. Half tail is looking much better then he did weeks back, when he looked skin over bones. Hope these guys grow into kings.

AL
Member
Guest

Hard to believe that they push into territories just because of pressure from other coalitions. The Mapogos were under no pressure yet wiped out so many lions in SS. The Matimbas have grown into superbly formidable lions, and will announce themselves soon.

Peter
Member
Guest

It will take a long time for the lion population to recover in the Western Sector. A lot will depend on how the take over of the Ximungwe Pride and Ottawa Pride is going to play out. We have seen that too many times, the females will try to avoid and protect their cubs. Option 1 is they start a nomadic life, leaving their territory and bumping into other prides, with casualties on both sides. Option 2 is their try to defend their cubs and get beaten up themselves, some may succumb to the inflicted injuries. Esp. young males get over the top at times while trying to establish themselves. The Mapogos killed countless adult females in the process, even the Majingilanes killed some females along the way.

There are only 7 adult females in the Western Sector, with 3 moving in and out in the north-east (the Ottawas) … and with one female not being seen for quite some time now. The biggest concern is to lose even more of the breeding females. Well, there is option 3. The females give up on their offspring and start a new cycle with the new males. This is what the 2 Tsalala Sisters did, while the original tailless (BB) took care of the youngsters.

I also think the Southern Males will stay in the Western Sector, lets hope so. There is another prize to win a bit further north-east, Simbambili-Elephant Plains-Arathusa, being the 4 young Tsalala Females. They Southern Males have been up there occasionally. The 2 Nkuhumas may struggle to keep them away and it seems the Majingilanes have given up this turf (at least as long as the Sparta females are ready to mate). It will be interesting to observe.

It seems the Matimbas are checking out their southern boundaries, they have a huge territory (even bigger than Majingilane Kingdom), but not many females to bond with. But it also seems they are splitting up most of the time. The Majingilanes should be able to deal with them.

Solo and the 2 young Eyrefield/Sparta Males are at Nottens feeding on a dead elephant.

AL
Member
Guest

Oddly enough, I had this debate with a few people and they believed that all the coalitions were quite content where they were. Days before the Mapogo death, the Majingilanes were mapped a few kms from the roaring Matimbas in Djuma and the Southerners were a few kms away from the Mapogos. There’s way too many big coalitions, young, strong and headed to prime. A couple of Matimbas really stand out.

Paul
Member
Guest

There is still two big mapogos living dont forget that. Makhulu and Pretty Boy are still in good shape maybe they will find som younger males to start a new coalition?

We have The lion Notch he did team up with his sons…..The mapogos could team up with their sons the Otthawa boys…..

Devin
Member
Guest

Is it spelled Makulu or Makhulu? And has there been any sightings of the 2 remaining Mapogos after the Southern coalition takeover?

Kk
Member
Guest

Interesting dynamics. But the end of an era. It was interesting to see Mr T stand up for himself-the 4 southerners were rather cautious attacking him-makes me wonder if the other two stayed, could the outcome have been different?

It certainly is tough to be a male lion.

Ammad
Member
Guest

From the recent pictures that i have looked at, Makulu looks pretty old. I’m not sure i agree that he’s still in good shape. And remember that PB sustained those injuries while fighting the southern boys a few weeks ago. The fact that they left Mr. T to die by himself pretty much confirms that we won’t be hearing from the remaining Mapogos ever again.

Sadly.

Adam
Member
Guest

It is with an incredible mixture of emotions that I have just learnt the news of the death of Satan/Mr T. I am currently in New Orleans so am very removed from the happenings of the bush and feel sad that I will never again see this magnificent male. His, and his brothers contribution to the lion dynamic in the Sabi Sands will forever be remembered. I don’t have time to comment now but when I return to Londolozi I will definitely try put something together and give my 2 cents worth on what this big day may mean. Who knows by the time I return to work the picture may be a little more clear?

Oscar
Member
Guest

Wow amazing video
Mr.T brothers are chicken,they should fight Beside Him,but they choose to flee.
is hard to see those who are all the life by your side,let you die alone
is sad.
RIP Mr.T

William Wang
Member
Guest

Mapogos are too old to protect their territory. It is nature. But sad.

William (from China)

THELMA ALEMAN
Member
Guest

I´M AMAZED HOW MR.T WITH SERIOUS INJURIES STILL STOOD UP AND CHALLENGED THEM UNTIL THE END… SO SAD..
ALSO I WONDER WHY THE REST OF THE MAPOGOS LEFT MR T ALONE..ALSO I THINK NOW THAT MR T SUFFERED THE SAME WAY HE MADE SUFFER OTHER LIONS,NATURE IS CRUEL, VERY SAD

Keith Cox
Member
Guest

Hi Rich in the the pre Mapogo era ,as the main article says there were several different prides and three or four different males, did those males stick to their own patches or did they journey into each others areas and have skirmishes , and were the Mapogos nomads in true sense of the word as they never seemed to stick any where for long, they seemed to live for the sole purpose of creating mayhem and murder where ever they went ,and in most cases of take overs dont the males prefer to stick around, doesnt having a resident male or males ensure a peaceful envirement for the long term . thanks .Keith

maxine
Member
Guest

In reply to Keith’s question about dynamics before the Mapogo, I was a guide at Londolozi for 10 years from 1997 to 2006 and I can say that having witnessed a few coalitions and take overs in that time, I have never experienced anything like the Mapogo. The coalitions (one being a coalition of five males) dominant at Londolozi during that time all had fairly stable territories, stayed with their females a lot and did a pretty good job of defending their young. Yes therter was conflict, but it was expected conflict, like when they met up with young nomads moving through the territory, or when coalition members got old and take overs occurred. For the most part the territories were stable and the females and prides flourished. The biggest threat to lions during my time in the Sabi Sands was bovine tuberculosis, which was rife in some prides, and poaching/illegal hunting, which sadly even a place as well policed as the sabi sands, is not immune to. Thanks for keeping us old guides updated on the goings on in the Sands!

Keith Cox
Member
Guest

Thanks Maxine what a wonderful time you must have had when the lion prides were up to strength,it seems as if the females have been decimated by the Mapogos all over ,and i wonder if there is enough to recover they all seem splintered and have begun to behave like nomads to stay safe ,thanks for the info Maxine . Keith

Sue Edmunds
Member
Guest

I’m so glad we can come to the Londolozi website and read the Wildlife Diary for a balanced perspective about these events. Thanks Rich and thanks also for the in depth background info.

Kevin Baker
Member
Guest

I was at Arathusa exactly two years ago and had the good fortune to get to know Mr T and Kinky Tail over the 4 day period. They were so battled scared especially Mr T who had massive wounds to his face. They had become legends of that area and i was very sad to hear the end of Kinky Tail by the claws of the Majingilanes. I have been wondering for months what has become of Mr T and now have finally learnt of his fate. You live by the sword and die by the sword but am still very very sad to hear of his demise. RIP old Mr T.

Patrick
Member
Guest

Dont blame Makulu and Pretty boy when they left Mr T behind. Remember when Mr T tried to rescue Kinky Tail from the coalition of 4 lions, Mr T too has to flee as they were too many and strong.

Bader
Member
Guest

At least M.T jumped in and actually gave one of the Majingis a good beating before realizing he was outnumbered. But Makulu and PB didn’t even attempt to fight and simply ran. Who knows how different the outcome would’ve been if they stayed and fought. I personally don’t believe that a 4 vs 3 battle would result in a lion dying.

Then again I don’t blame them for fleeing either. PB was already injured by them and Makulu seems to be too old to fight.

James Hebert
Member
Guest

and once again as others pointed out…none of us were there to see the logistics of the entire encounter. Perhaps Mr. T got caught slipping and there was no time to help him. Perhaps Mak and PB were losing also and then had to run after Mr. T. was already doomed with a broken back. Maybe T was overconfident and set out to show the young guys a lesson for injuring PB and things didn’t work out as he envisioned. Easy for humans to sit back and analyze something, but we don’t know exactly what went down or how it went down and the old guys wouldn’t have stood a chance at any rate. But you guys keep on figuring out how the minds of lions work during battle, it is amusing at the very least to sit back and read it all. *1st post ever, longtime follower of African lion coalitions even before the mighty Mapogo’s were raising hell*

To James Hebert:

Maybe T wasn’t too excited about the idea of ​​ending his days in a nomadic life. Perhaps he never forgot what happened to KT and thought it was the best time to pay off his debt to him, fighting to the death to defend his brothers, lionesses, cubs and kingdom.

Al
Member
Guest

You need to calm down James. A lot of people here have been avid followers of the great coalitions of Sabi Sands and are well informed through the various websites, blogs and FB pages. Lots of perspectives and opinions so there’s nothing amusing about it except you whose posted here for the first time.

It was observed the Selatis rushed the Mapogos at which point the older males turned and fled, leaving T. That was the word from experienced rangers who also mentioned T led the advance, which proved fatal for him.

And why didn’t they record it? They knew what was going to happen. Why don’t we have the whole fight? If anyone saw that happen, the video should exist. It may be that they are not telling us everything that happened.

Kristofferson Lopez Plata
Member
Guest

I’m not quite sure how this coalition works. Are these new Southern Pride Coalition going to take all the pride that are available at the Western Sector of the Sabi Sands? I thought lions had prides of their own, and if males of different prides see each other, they will fight and kill each other in order to gain more members for their pride. Once this Southern Pride coalition is established or have settled down, will they split up and have their own prides to take care of? I mean, will these 4 members of the Majingilane males split up and form their own pride or will they be in one BIG pride themselves and dominate the Western Sector? I’m curious

Adam Bannister
Guest contributor

I think the 4 southern pride males will take over the land in the western sector of the Sabi Sand which includes 2 prides of females. They will kill off the cubs and then mate and sire their own with these 2 prides. In my opinion they will keep together as 4 so as to remain strong against a possible attack from the 4 majingilane males. The Majingilane currently hold about 25000 hectares of land which includes 4 prides. Hope this brief description answers your question. If you spend some time reading some of the older pieces I have written on lion warfare and dynamics you may get a better understanding

Wolfe
Member
Guest

I find it striking thew Majingilanes are heading deeper into Matimbas territory from time to time. Can’t say i didn’t see it coming, and mentioned it before. There could be a possibility that the Majings are not aware of the strength of the Matimbas in numbers, yet last reports of their vocal interactions suggest the Majings outdo the Matimbas every time. Would be a real disaster if they run into the SkyBeds. Word is all six Matimbas are around, even though there were initial reports of Matimba going down. The Southerners are well aware of the Majingilanes and may not get close to thier boundaries for some time. Other coalitions are doing well to steer clear of the latter as well. It’s where the Matimbas, Sky and Majingilanes figure.

Jack
Member
Guest

Wolfe, I don’t think u could really say that the Majingilanes are venturing out to matimba territory. The Majingilane used to go all the way to NK, djumA and all the northern part of SS. They actually stopped going there after the little Roaring contest.

loz
Member
Guest

The Skybeds coaltion with 9 confirmed males and up to 12 unconfirmed will be a huge problem for the Matimba males. I fully expect this pride to take over at some point, the numbers are there.

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Perhaps Loz, but who is to say that they will remain as a coalition of nine before trying to expand their territory elsewhere. I believe that there is a strong chance this coalition will split up in the future owing to rivalry within the group. Thanks for your comments, rich

Chris
Member
Guest

Quick question. Do any of the Mapogo males have cubs to this date. And if so, how many are female and how many males? Also, what are their cubs ages? Essentially what I am asking, is whether or not this bloodline will continue, or become obsolete. Please reply with any INFO. Thank you.

Tim
Member
Guest

I hope that the Majingilane reign will be a better reign which will produce plenty of offspring and with it relative peace.The Mapogo reign was full of unnecessary distraction most of the time.My question is how many Mapogo males are surviving,are they two and what are their names?

Damien
Member
Guest

Is there anywhere where I can find a full video of Mr. T’s last fight? I’ve seen a couple on You Tube from different angles and one that includes footage from before the clip above. This stuff is fascinating to me. When my kids are old enough to take care of themselves (in case my wife and I are eaten by lions), we are planning on coming to Africa on a safari to see these sights with our own eyes.

Lee
Member
Guest

Any news on the remaining Mapogos? Makulu is still missing, for many weeks now, and also one of the KPN males, strangely at the same time. I’ve heard other lions also going missing or being killed recently yet no word from anyone in the know. Is there something going on that nobody wants to tell the general public about?

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Hi Lee, they just simply haven’t been seen on our property lately so we cannot tell you there whereabouts or what their status is as we just do not know. regards, rich

Xalebor
Member
Guest

Hello all. I’m interesting with Africa wild life on yotube and discover history of mapogo lines which amaze me a lot. Do you have any information of rest 2 brothers from mapogo coalition? Or may be you can ask from neighbor land owners?

brian evetitt
Member
Guest

Is there any of this pride left. This was a terrible video to watch I feel really bad for that lion.

George
Member
Guest

I’ve watched some vids at yt and saw Kinky tail and MR. T die. Those ppl say they cannot or don’t want to interfere but even their presence there is interfering whatever they say (apart from the fact that I obviously heard a shot from a gun in the vid on yt so I can’t get why the shot wasn’t heading in his heart/head – as per info Kinky was dying for hours). I have no idea why they did not end their tortures once they assisted their deaths (I think for some people it was unspeakeably diffucult not to do anything and just witness their pain but it should be viewed from the other side as well – what would have happened if they had shot him and ended his life – simply nothing but a beast wouldn’t have to sustain untold torture). From my point of view it’s just chasing for best shots (as they’ve got plenty of footage out of it). Bullet in the head from mercy would safe much pain – it could be their last good bye with the king of animals. Caughting his guts being eaten on tape by other lions I consider for disgrace of his majesty no matter what they say (some things should not be vidded although it’s a part of their wild life). I think those who witnessed his brave fight owed him to help him out at his last path.

It may happen that with out interfering into things that happen up there, their population will end up at zero one day (as it ended in Europe long time ago and pretty much in Asia nowadays). If it is what they want, then it’s alright. I would prefer interfering even in National parks in order to preserve the wild life as it was. I understand the arguments for not interfering and accept them (perhaps at this stage it’s wiser not to change the order of things but I guess soon enough will come an era when we will have to do that).

I am aware of the fact that such fights are common and that many other lions and animals died under same or worse conditions but the point I would like to mention is: if we are given a chance to reduce their pain, we should do that because we are the reason why they suffer – 20, 50 or 100 years ago they had incomparably larger area to live in. Those encounters are just unavoidable but we should realize what is the reason for that.

Kinky and Mr. T fought and died well, died as they lived (they were brutal in life and died brutally as well). It doesn’t matter whether they stood up and faced the threat because they wanted or because they were forced to – only thing that matters is that they fought bravely till their last breath.

Renato
Member
Guest

Yes I have seen this Lions of Sabi Sand on Discovery channel for several times now and was thinking deep(relative) about it.
Whether humans should interfer or not.
I do think we should.If that moment is there where you/we CAN(we can’t control all lions).
At one or two moments in his death ordeal ‘Mr.T’ was looking directly into the camera, as if expecting for help.
He was , I think, used to people and the car around it seemed, and looked at the viewer(s) for help.
Don’t underestimate what an animal can feel or experience. Animals do have strong senses also.

We have the power , doesn’t that bring responsibility?
Or is it just the, ‘oh they are lions, and that’s how they live and have always lived’.
The problem , here, is to what extend should people interfer in these animal lives.
The cubs being killed is a standard procedure among lions, for example.You can’t control all of that..
Anyway, a bullet to end the lives of lions that have really no chance at all to get out of the situation is at least some kind of mercy.
In my opinion.
They are in a ‘lower ‘ stadium of mind than we are.
But not really long ago we behaved like animals too.
Remember the Roman Empire and people hanging on the cross or thrown for the lions.

To stop unnecessary suffering is not wrong in my opinion.
These death fights by male lions are extremely cruel.

Marcos Opazo
Member
Guest

Hello. very enriquesedora this story reminds me of a lot of people! hopefully these stories about these animals may still be counted, and not desaparescan, we like love but always free and wild! remind us of the dawn of time .. our time! … Mapogos Q, E, D.

Gary
Member
Guest

Hi, if anyone is still here, has it looks years if anyone has posted.
But anyhow, here it goes. Years ago I watch a documentary which I have no idea the name of or the lions within it, and for that matter which national park or land.
It started with one lone male pride leader who was a big boy, but two nomads eventually chased him off, and he ran northwards. The defeated lion (sorry I don’t know any names) chased his and his partners offspring off from the pride when they reached a certain age, years before himself being defeated and chased away. His and his then partners offspring, Three of them, teamed up with a lone Nomad lion creating a group of four young lions.
eventually the 4 young lions started heading north towards the pride they were once from, to confront the Two pride leaders, and surprisingly their father who ran north years earlier started to head back south towards the pride. Unfortunately the documentary ended there and I never found out what happened. Just wondered if you may of seen the documentary or know the lions, has these lions I have found on youtube which are now old and being killed, could be the 4 young lions I seen years ago when they were all young, or it could be coincidence. Any information would be great, really want to watch that documentary again.

Sue Newton
Member
Guest

I watched a programme on Spanish tv last night about the coalition lions and wonder what the current state of play is in the Sabi Sands area ( the last comment here was over a year ago)

carol
Member
Guest

did you know that on the page “Lion Warfare – The End of an Era” there is a blank black box for video but it does not exist; thank you

James Tyrrell
Alumni

Hi Carol,
Thanks for the update. I have re-inserted the correct video 🙂

Deborah florez
Member
Guest

Just found this site after watching the doc on the Mapogos. I never realized the drama that takes place in Lion kingdom! I look forward to all your updates on the new ear of lions. So interesting! Thank you for sharing your insight with us!

Georgel
Member
Guest

After 4 years one can see that the Majingilanes can’t handle the pressure and left pride after pride, moving to the western sector of Sabi Sand.

HJ
Member
Guest

MrT was the anti hero who’ll be missed dearly. He was rightly given the name Satan but you don’t always come across such fearlessness. RIP mr T

G
Member
Guest

It’s a shame that there isn’t enough space or territory left for all the lions to share and have they’re own areas

Trish Monck
Master Tracker

One of the most amazing lions ever.

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