The Ending of an Era: Tsalala Lioness Dying | Londolozi Blog

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James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on The Ending of an Era: Tsalala Lioness Dying

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Lisa Dunlap

Beautiful sentiment, James.

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Oh Janes. I feel so sad now. It is so difficult to see a favourite animal go.

Evelina Scali

I feel so sad… I hope a new era of cubs will arrive.. so cute…

Sherri Roberts

What beautiful words, for a beautiful lady. Thank you for that James. If she could talk, imagine the things that she could tell you. I hope that the other predators leave her be & let her pass peacefully. She will be sadly missed by everyone who she touched. I’ll say bye for now sweetheart & see you again in my dreams ???
Once again, thank you James

Dan Deherder

Beautiful story. It is heartbreaking to hear, but she was a true legend of a lioness.

Jan-Erik Rottinghuis
Guest contributor

Dear James,
your (always) thoughtful writing keeps the Londolozi experiences alive (for me it has been 10 years) and I remember seeing the Tsalala lioness when I was guided by Bennet and Alfie… I don’t believe, after all my Safari experiences across Africa, that it is a bad thing to get attached to specific animals, as it brings us closer to the realisation that we are all part of this amazing world that we need to share with them. (although humans do a particularly bad job in the sharing, I must add…)
Please, please keep writing your wonderful blogs as it is a joy to stay connected with your beautiful world and your broad and long experience makes it all the more memorable and interesting.
Thank you! Jan-Erik

Vivien Jones

I think it is sad that they always seem to die alone. 15 years you would think that one of the other lionesses would be with her knowing how close Pride’s are.

I would be very surprised if anyone could distance themselves from any wildlife especially being with them day in and day out and really why would you want to. The joy they bring you outweighs the hurt and sadness when they leave.

Michael and I are returning for our 3rd visit to Londolozi for our wedding anniversary and my birthday. Am so excited and just cannot wait to be there.

Gloria Brislin

Hard to see the old lioness in such a sad state.

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

That is so sad. I really thought that the two prides would rejoin. The Tailed female looks in terrible condition, I’ve only seen one other photo that showed a lionese in that kind og condition and that was an old lioness in the Kalahari with porcupine quills in her legs! I’m really sad that it’s the end of an era. I suppose all prides have a natural lifespan, just like their members do.

Gillian Lacey

Very sad to see the poor condition of this lioness. I hope her passing is swift and peaceful

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

Hi there everyone. We have never physically been to Londolozi but we have for some time now looked forward each day to the articles on the people and animals at Londolozi. Nearly ALL my screensavers come from the lovely photos we receive. We are just so very sorry to hear about the dear old Tsalala lioness and see the latest sad picture of her. We just pray she went peacefully. What a story she has! What a legacy she has left. Wendy and Neil

Mary Shabbott

Heartbreaking to see. Bless her heart. Thank you for sharing with us.

Rhonda Oberto

I am so sorry for the loss of Tsalala lioness dying…. she will cross the Rainbow Bridge peacefully. We have lost 4 of our big cats in the past few months so I know your sadness. Chuffs & Hugs.

Tracie Ricketts
Digital Ranger

That was a beautiful eulogy for her James, down to the last word, Londolozi is very lucky to have you..

Kiki Aldonas
Digital Ranger

This absolutely breaks my heart. Thank you for this tribute.

Gemma Kemps
Digital Ranger

Oh this makes me so sad James. We got to see this amazing lion in May 2017 and reveled in how beautiful she was. It gives me great solace that she will die a natural death. Will her sister try to go back to the tailless pride in order to survive? Please keep us informed. Thank you for all your blogs.

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

I know that death is inevitable, especially in the bush…..but this just breaks my heart! I can’t imagine how you must feel James watching her for so many years. The image if her emaciated made me gasp and my heart hurt even though she’s lead a full 15 year life. I can understand why detachment helps…..sometimes.

Iren Juppa
Digital Ranger

He needs some food! Very sad.

Christa Blessing
Digital Tracker

It is always so sad when some familiar animal has to leave us, whether in the wild or a pet. They are all creatures who we love. Getting emotional is quite normal I think. I hope that she has been able to go in peace.


Hey I just started following lions and fell in love with them. I’ve learned so much reading old blogs on here thanks for all your hard work.

Gill Cederwall

Just so beautifully written. What an amazing legacy both her and her mom leave behind. Thank you for sharing. Xxx

Jill Larone

Beautifully written, James, and so heartbreaking to see how thin she is and that this beautiful, legendary Lioness is reaching the end of her journey. I feel such sadness, so I can only imagine how painful it must be for you, and the entire Londolozi family, to see the end drawing near for this beautiful lady. We will certainly not forget her.

Digital Ranger

Well there you go, you made me cry at work. So sad. Even though you know to expect that anything could happen at any time, for these wonderful creatures to live to old age is a miracle and a testament to their abilities. As much as we dislike it, time marches on. Enjoy every moment while we can, and take wonderful memories with us. She, like others, will live on in our hearts and minds.

Judith Guffey
Digital Tracker

I will miss seeing her.

Wendy Hawkins
Senior Digital Ranger

Oh my gosh this is sad & so beautifully written James, thank you for showing us pictures of her over the years. Rest peacefully beautiful lioness.

Mj Bradley
Senior Digital Ranger

I am heartbroken. We knew this was coming soon, but it doesn’t make it any easier. What a history this pride has written.. I can only hope that maybe the Tailless lioness can join with a younger group so her last cub has a chance of surviving. Thank you for the blog and I wish her a swift and peaceful journey.

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