The much loved Tsalala Pride are looking great! The past year has been very difficult on this special group of lions. If one considers that not too long ago it consisted of three mature lionesses and 8 cubs. A series of catastrophic events whittled this down to the three lionesses and only 2 cubs. Well, the two cubs area quickly growing and must now be called sub-adults. They are large and as seen in the dramatic ‘buffalo and lion’ footage the other day they are starting to contribute to the pride. In time they will be a huge asset to this team.
In addition, the old Tailless Female has had a single female cub that is looking in superb shape. Being a single cub she has received all the attention form her mother and has had a never ending supply of fatty milk. The latest and most wonderful news, however, is that the ‘Tailed’ female has recently given birth . We are still unsure of numbers but initial reports suggest 2-3 youngsters. They are believed to be being denned in the Manyeleti Riverbed in central Marthly. At this young impressionable stage we are leaving them alone and allowing lots of mother-cub bonding time. We all eagerly await the moment she reveals them to us…
So a summary of the current Tsalala Pride is as follows:
Tailless Female (b. Jan 1998)
New Tailless Female (b. Dec 2002)
Tailed Female (b. Dec 2002)
Sub-adult female (b. Feb 2011) – daughter of the Tailed Female
Sub- adult female (b. Feb 2011) – daughter of the Tailed Female
Female cub (b. July 2012) – daughter to the old Tailless Female
unknown number of new cubs (b. Oct 2012)
And lastly, an update on the Breakaway Pride:
The four females (b. Dec 2008) are still being seen over vast tracts of land in the northern and central Sabi Sands. It was thought that the one lioness may have given birth in mid Sept, but sadly there has been no evidence to suggest the cubs are still alive. We eagerly await to see where they decide to settle and whether they will have any luck producing their first litter. On a personal note I’m still holding thumbs for a reunion of these two prides…imagine the sight!
Written and photographed by Adam Bannister