To be honest it was the very last thing I expected to see. The Tsalala lioness (with the tail), the mother of the remaining two cubs born in February 2011, was found mating yesterday. Her male of choice…the Scar Nose Majingilane Male!
The reason I was so surprised was that she still has two cubs, out of her original litter of four, which are alive and well. They are 16 -17 months old and still largely dependent on their mother for both protection and food. I thought they were still too young. Out of all the Majingilane Males, it is Scar Nose who appears to have had the worst and most violent relationship with the Tsalala Pride over the last two years. If you remember correctly it was this exact male who chased down and killed one of this prides cubs back in December 2011.
It’s almost as if she has decided to mate with the enemy. Is this being done in an attempt to fall pregnant again, or is it somehow being done as a strange peace offering? Whatever the answer we certainly will follow, with interest, this pair in the days to come. If she is indeed serious in getting pregnant and rectifying relationships between the Tsalala Pride and the Majingilane Coalition then she needs to ensure that she mates with all four males. It is my opinion that the last time she mated, she left some of the males out…this may be the possible reason as to why matters have always been tense!
The Tsalala Sister, without the tail, no longer has any cubs, so I feel that she too may soon follow suite. All in all, a testy period awaits for the younger members of Londolozi’s favourite pride of lions. Never a dull moment for the Lions of Londolozi
Written and photographed by Adam Bannister