About the Author

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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18 Comments

on Birmingham Males Brawl Over Lioness

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Debbie York
Explorer

My 4 year old grandson has asked me whether hyaena can jump? I cannot recall ever seeing them jump but that doesn’t mean that they don’t!

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Wow! Incredible sighting. It is probably Murphy’s law that every time something like this happen the camera setting is wrong or I actually forgot to push record on the video camera. Looking forward to more interaction between the Birmingham’s.

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Great video. The Birmingham’s are big boys.

Leo Pards
Explorer

The Birmingham Male with the Hairy Belly Matimba type mane is the dominant one as per MalaMala ranger. But hierarchy within a coalition can change over time. Injuries and health play a vital role in it.

Ezequiel Almada
Explorer

Nice article, James, thank you.

Male #3, the one with the darker mane, looks magnificent. I don’t know if it’s the angle, but he looks even bigger than his brother.

Leo Pards
Explorer

Its his mane over hind legs that deceives the eyes often. The mfumo Male is bigger. The Birmingham’s are slightly larger then Majingilanes and slightly smaller compared to Matimbas.

Darlene Knott
Senior Digital Ranger

Wow, would I have loved to have been sitting in that vehicle with you all! I feel your pain in regard to that Combretum tree. Too bad you didn’t have time to reposition, but by the time you did, it would have been over! Still very intriguing to see AND to hear. Thanks for sharing, James!

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

Amazing capture Hames! The video is an enlightening look into the testosterone levels of these massive lions. It’s probably wise that the Ntsevu female walked away or something tragic could have happened.

The bush certainly got the best of your still photos but perhaps you could not move the rover without disturbing the players. I hate when that happens.

I understand the Birmingham males are traversing through Singita currently- at least two of them. Busy boys!

Leo Pards
Explorer

They went and came back. They have been in MalaMala in last few days. And Londolozi as well.

Jill Larone
Explorer

Wow, if these guys keep it up neither one of them will be around to see cubs!! Great video James and account of what occurred! I remember the Majingilane video with a similar battle over mating rights — incredible!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

If I’m not mistaken, males in a coalition like this will clash over females (and also food) quite often?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

They will. Particularly over females…

Phil Schultz
Explorer

1st day back at work, still recovering after our visit to Londolozi last week. Wonder if one of those Birmingham males is the one we watched mating last Wednesday with Grant and Jerry.

Malavika Gupta
Senior Digital Ranger

Thanks for nail biting video. I have never seen animals in combat. I can only imagine how nerve wracking that must be. You want to stay and watch, but you also don’t want to be caught in any crossfire!

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

So, are they trying to establish a grand territory encompassing all three properties? If so and they’re mating with females they encounter, they could end up as the real masters of their universe, siring many cubs. I’m looking forward to following their journey.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Denise,
Usually coalitions will try to establish as large a territory as is sustainable. SO far the Birminghmas haven’t expanded as much as we would have expected, but without significant competition to the west it is likely that they will begin to do so more and more…

I never saw male lions fight, but I did see a fight where a lioness was defending her cubs against two male lions. That day she managed to save the cubs and almast ripped out the tongue of one of the males. I couldn’t get close to the event due to very rocky terrain, but I did manage to capture a shot of the injured male when he came running back. Unfortunately the next day the males came back and killed the cubs anyway.

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Incredible sighting

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