Born in 1998 many thought her too old to have another litter. She has proved us all wrong. And we at Londolozi are delighted! One of the most loved lionesses in the whole of the Sabi Sands has given birth. The Tailless Female from the Tsalala Pride has had another litter. Discovered on the 2 August 2012, a single cub was seen suckling from it’s mother. Safely stashed away at Marthly Pools we are delighted to announce the newest arrival to the Tsalala Pride and yet another magical moment for the Lions of Londolozi.
The long grass made it very hard to get a good view, but it was more than likely just the shaking of my entire body from the excitement which meant these photos were slightly blurred. We sat for ages watching her clean her single cub and then smiled in delight as the cub fell asleep whilst nursing. All the while we sat quietly in the vehicle 50 yards away.
Completely unphased by our presence it was testimony to how relaxed the mother, the legend herself, feels in the presence of a car. Years of hard work, from past rangers and trackers, have made sightings like this possible in this day and age at Londolozi.
Last year, the Tailless Female’s daughter (the now newly Tailless Female b. 2002) denned her stash of four precious cubs in the exact same place. A granite rocky outcrop overlooking the picturesque area known as Marthly Pools. We estimate this cub to be between 1-2 weeks old meaning it was born mid/late July 2012.
Now, we wait to see if she is able to look after the cub during this needy time. We, as a team, will use extreme sensitivity to ensure that our presence will have no impact. If need be, we will leave the area alone completely and let the young one and her mom bond at this early stage. When the time is right she will hopefully show her cub off to us. Until then, we may have to be patient and wait for more sightings of this gem. I just hope that she does not abandon this little bundle of love. Fathered by the mighty Majingilane he/she will have great genes, but a single cub takes a lot of effort and time to look after. A hard task, especially for a mother in her old age. We, and all at Londolozi, wish her the best in motherhood.
Written and photographed by Adam Bannister