The Epic Story of the Tailless Lioness: Then and Now | Londolozi Blog

About the Author

Amy Attenborough

Alumni

Amy worked at Londolozi from 2014 to 2017, guiding full time before moving into the media department, where her photographic and story-telling skills shone through. Her deep love of all things wild and her spiritual connection to Africa set her writing and guiding ...

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58 Comments

on The Epic Story of the Tailless Lioness: Then and Now

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Mike ryan
Member
Guest

Amy a fabulous story and thanks for sharing. We look forward to seeing some photos of her cubs and interesting that the four sub adults are still with her. Can you speculate who are the cubs fathers ? Thanks mike

Colin
Member
Guest

Amy, what an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It makes me just want to go and give that tailless lion a big hug, but on second thoughts …………

Lee
Member
Guest

A wonderful tale (!) beautifully told. Thanks, Amy!

Lynne
Member
Guest

Thank for that lovely story ! Hope it ends happily in the future !

Darlene Knott
Member
Guest

Amazing story! Thanks for sharing, Amy.

Amaya Pryce
Member
Guest

Amazing, inspiring and humbling. Thank you for this backstory!

Danny
Member
Guest

Epic reading!

Tony Goldman
Member
Guest

Thanks Amy for a wonderfully detailed story and have personally been fortunate to watch and photograph the Tsalala pride and the Mhangeni pride evolution over the last 9 years and look forward to see what happens to them in the future

Lea
Member
Guest

What brave lionesses. A really amazing story of survival and teaching of these two magnificent ladies. The original tail less lioness surely taught her daughter valuable life lessons. I am sure the daughter will teach her offspring to do the same. Very courageous and magnificent cats. Thank you so much Amy for this beautiful blog – loved it.

Mary Beth Wheeler
Member
Guest

What a lovely story, Amy! With Nick K., we searched almost daily for her and cubs a few weeks back; so happy she and cubs been located. Thanks for retelling the whole story!

Dawn Phillips
Member
Guest

Wow, what an inspiring story. It is so amazing to hear the history of these incredible lionesses. I truly hope that we have the opportunity to see her in September when we arrive. It would be such a special event to see this amazing creature that I feel that I am becoming to know, thanks to these stories.

Les Moodie
Member
Guest

A wonderful story Amy. Thanks for sharing it.

Suzanne Myers
Member
Guest

Thank you Amy so much!! The Tsalala pride was the first I was introduced to… The 1st Great Lioness w/o her tail… We called and knew her as BB…. So you can guess, They are my favorite and hold a special place in heart! I loved the more detailed story of her you gave! It only made me LOVE her more!!!!!!

Susan Strauss
Member
Guest

These lionesses are so inspiring – true hero’s saga journey! Facing incredible odds over and over, and making decisions in the best interest of the collective good.Thank you Amy for sharing the history of their journey. Tailless is a role model ❤️

Audrey Kubie
Member
Guest

An amazing tale (no pun intended) of these phenomenal animals. This is such a beautiful description of these amazing creatures. Thank you!

Jeff Powell
Member
Guest

Amy, an absorbing and well told story. The Londolozi blog is always a good read, but you’ve set a new standard. — thank you

Mishal
Member
Guest

A brilliant brilliant piece One of my favorites blog pieces ever written you have done a fantastic job Amy
You have shared the amazing story of my favorite pride and written it so well one can feel your love for that pride and those two females an excellent job Amy keep it up like I said before this is now my favorite blog piece .Thank you for writing it its perfect literally perfect .

Mishal
Member
Guest

I agree with the above comment you have set a new standard for the blog .You have describe the incredible story with such compassion and passion keep it up

Jurgen Vogt
Member
Guest

An awesome piece of research and a very well written story. Really captivating. Well done Amy

Barbara Bethke
Member
Guest

Thank you so much for your fantastic blog describing the life of the tailless lionesses. I like observing lionesses and cubs because of their amazing family life.

Ann Seagle
Member
Guest

I love these kind of stories. I am so fascinated by the dynamics of a lion pride. U told it beautifully. Thank u. Ann Seagle

Lynn Rattray
Member
Guest

Awesome story and so well told!

Jason_T
Member
Guest

I did not understand who gave the latest birth.

Was the Tailless who was with the 4 young Tsalala lions (3 Males and 1 female)
or
the old Tsalala Lioness about 14-15 yo, who last year gave birth to 2 female cubs, and she is together with a younger lioness who has 3 cubs.

who of those two?

Hi Jason. Yes the newest litter is from the Tailless lioness (aged 15) who is with four sub adults and her two new cubs. Her mother, the original tailless, died back in August 2013.

Wendy Hawkins
Member
Guest

Wow this is an amazing story! Long may she survive to see these babies grow up big & strong! Thanks Amy

Chris
Member
Guest

A marvelous and moving story, amy. Thank you for sharing.

Richard Walker-Randall
Member
Guest

This warmed my heart on the other side of the globe in Auckland, NZ. In December I had the privilege of spending 3 nights at Londolozi with Ted Swindon. On our very first game drive, after barely leaving camp, the first animal I got to see was none other than the Tailess Lioness and this is one of my most memorable experiences! Now to read about her history, Thank you!

Alexa
Member
Guest

Coincidentally, I was curious about the history behind the Tailless lioness & her tailless mother.
I’m so happy that your post has popped up & is sharing their story. It’s nothing short of beautiful yet bizarre the uncanny way her life has paralleled her mum’s.
I hope the 4 subs has learnt well from her guidance & continue to thrive. All the best to her new cubs too 🙂

Sid
Member
Guest

Great blog about these courageous lionesses! I saw her, her sister and the four subs with the Majingilane during my visit to Londolozi in 2013. Go Tailless!

Ranger for life
Member
Guest

4 months before she mated with both matimbas on malamala and northerm sabi sands.

Irene Nathanson
Member
Guest

Thank you for the story. Great tosee you and them during my recent stay

Gillian Evans
Member
Guest

Fabulous piece Amy. We followed the Tsalala break away with Sean a couple of months ago and heard that the incredible story of the tail less female and that she was denning at the Ximpalapala Kopie. So looking forward to seeing a photo of her with the cubs on those rocks – a special place!

Stuart Manford
Member
Guest

Your passion for the animals really shines through Amy. Thank you for telling their story, and what an incredible story of shear grit and determination! Yet another mum getting it done!

Chuck Illig
Member
Guest

Great story!!!! You got a big response to it! Thanks for sharing!!!!

Toby
Member
Guest

definitely one of my favourite stories so far!

Jill Larone
Member
Guest

Thank you Amy, for sharing this beautiful story of these two brave and resilient Lionesses. It’s a story of love, strength and endurance. I hope these cubs will live long, healthy lives and carry on the legacy of these two braves Lionesses.

Cherrill Thickitt
Member
Guest

Amy it is so interesting to read the life stories of these two lions. It just proves we have so much more research to do on the social structure of these magnificient creatures. I hope people like yourself will keep diaries for a long time to come. You s.ee these prides on a routine basis and we need people like you. Keep up the good work, how Inenvy you, you are living the dream It was truly a wonderful blog.

Michael & Terri Klauber
Member
Guest

Thanks for the great story Amy. We are so lucky to have you and your amazing teammates to keep the history intact!

Katie Anagnostellis
Member
Guest

My dad just told me a story similar to ghis that happened on Thornybush, but this is just phenomenal!! ❤️???

Katie Anagnostellis
Member
Guest

What a significant story! My dad just told me a similar story that happened at Thornybush 15 yeasr ago. Amazing what happens in nature… ?❤️

Vicky Sanders
Member
Guest

The Tsalala tailless lionesses have always fascinated me. They are some tough broads indeed, experts in survival and (I believe) exceptional intelligence. Amazing to have all the pieces laid out in a single tale.

Scott
Member
Guest

Great pics Amy I like the story but it all didn’t end well for the original tailless female did it? I thought when she went back to the Mhangeni Pride the very cubs she saved they mauled and killed her.

Hi Scott! Yes you’re correct. Sadly in late 2013 the original Tailless lioness tried to re-join the Mhangeni pride when they were feeding on a kudu carcass and had very small new cubs (their first litter). No one was at the scene but it is believed she was attacked by the lionesses who were probably being over-protective of their new cubs and died as a result of her injuries. A sad ending when you consider what she did for these females.

Mike D
Member
Guest

Simply incredible! The story of these two amazing lionesses and the articulate portrayal of their incredible lives is perhaps one of the greatest wildlife stories ever told. Hollywood could not create such a story line. At 15 years old the original tailless lioness is truly a symbol of survival against all odds. Awesome story.

Patsy Crisp
Member
Guest

It is so informative to have this background and a deeper understanding of the lion dynamics within the SS
Thanks so much!

Loretta
Member
Guest

Thank you for this absolutely captivating article. It gives me an even more in depth understanding of the history of this amazing lioness. I have not seen her in 2 years and am hoping she is on Londolozi soil when we return in September. It can’t come soon enough!

Chris
Member
Guest

Did the Matimbas sire the 5 cubs?

Yes the Matimba males are the fathers Chris…

Mike D
Member
Guest

Absolutely incredible story ! The story of these two amazing lionesses is perhaps one of the greatest wild animal stories ever told. Their strength, courage, resilience and will to survive are undeniable. Hollywood could not have written a more moving story. It is amazing that their bloodlines still run deep with the lions of Londolozi. Thank you for this masterfully written incredible story of these amazing animals.

Laura Eberly
Member
Guest

History always amazes! Thank you for this!

Dot Stermole
Member
Guest

Hi Amy, thank you for this wonderful history of the tailless lioness. We have seen her, I guess the younger one starting in 2013, several times but had no idea of her mother’s tailless condition. I’m always amazed how you identify these prides and keep the names straight. Good job!

MJ Bradley
Member
Guest

I remember seeing the origianal Tailless Lioness, in the Northern Sabi Sands they called her BeBe or BB. she was an amazing lioness, and now to have watched her daughter carry on her mothers lessons is amazing. I am sure there will be many moist eyes when her time to pass into memory comes.. Thank you so very much for this wonderful tribute to the Amazing Tsalala ladies.

Perine
Member
Guest

Loved reading this tale. I think it would make a great movie 🙂
How did the tailless mother die in 2013?

James Tyrrell
Alumni

Perine from tracks in the area it appeared as though she was attacked by the lionesses of the Mhangeni pride (the Tsalala breakaways) in an altercation over a kudu kill, and died of her wounds. Sadly these were the very lionesses who the Tailless female had raised to maturity herself.

Tim and Melanie Hensey
Member
Guest

We have just completed our stay at Londolozi. We were fortunate on our last safari to see the tailless lioness with a sub lioness and her two new cubs. The lionesses had just killed an impala when we came upon them. After feeding, the tailless lioness hid the remaining carcass and then began to call the cubs. They emerged and followed their mother to the carcass and began feeding. We feel so fortunate to have witnessed this glimpse into the lives of this pride.

Andrew Steele
Explorer

Thank you Amy for including this epic story in the Londolozi Blog. I have been piecing this story together myself as I have been exploring the African Bush virtually.. and from my research, I have also learned about the Tsalala/Marthly male Solo (born in 2005) who was birthed, raised and protected from the Mapogos by BB in much the same way that the current Tailless Lioness raised and protected the 3 young Tsalala breakaway males and female. It is my comprehension that Solo is the current Tailless Lioness’ younger brother (one of the 2 cubs that survived after BB was mauled by the Hyenas in 2005) and that he is alive and well, last photographed in Lion Sands in April 2017.. This is yet another astonishing similarity between the mother and daughter Tailless Lionesses.. Now that these 3 young Tsalala breakaway males are on their own, perhaps they will encounter their nomadic uncle Solo and align.. at this point, it seems that anything and everything is possible.. who knows? Maybe they will circle back and align with the now small Sparta pride that adopted Solo so many years ago… In my humble opinion, BB’s offspring are beautiful representations of the expanding collective consciousness and a Lions ability to co-exist with territorial Lions 🙂 .. Please keep us updated on the many facets of this story, many blessings.. <3

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

This is an epic story. We had wonderful experiences with the Tsalalas. I have got photos of both tailless lionesses walking across the airstrip together. It was so special.

Strader.Kisten
Explorer

I read this story and I loved it! I’m only 13 but I have always wanted to go somewhere and take photos. This really inspires me. I hope one day everyone will stop animal abuse and stop destroying the animal’s land.

~Kisten <3

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