The surviving two males from the legendary Mapogo Coalition graced us with their presence last week. Makhulu (15) and Pretty Boy (12) were found trailing an exceptionally large herd of Buffalo. We estimated the herd at about 600 individuals. These giants of the lion world were obviously hoping that one of the members of the herd would falter. We followed them for ages as they ever so gradually moved towards the herd. That night they were left to hunt by themselves. We returned the next morning to find that they were feasting on the remains of a female buffalo carcass. Initial observations suggested that the buffalo cow may well have become stuck in the mud of a little wallow. This would explain how two old males caught such a large animal.
It is very exciting for us to still be seeing these males. Once part of a coalition of six that dominated much of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, these males are now true nomads…wandering to all corners of the reserve and even venturing far into the Kruger National Park. When their brother, the notorious Satan, was killed back in mid March this year, we all assumed the worst for the Mapogo. But, never write off a lion! These males continue to power forward staying alive against all odds. We continue to watch in interest to see how they decide to live out their retirement. There are many male lions in this area, especially the Majingilane brothers, that will also be monitoring their movements closely.
Filmed by: Rich Laburn
Photographed by Rich Laburn and Adam Bannister
Written by Adam Bannister