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James Tyrrell


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 Throwback Thursday: Remembering the Last Sparta Males

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It is so true James. We drive around in Kruger, see loads (we wish) of lions and do not know who they are ir which pride they belong tobor where they are from. With social media we do become involved in the lives of the lions that we read about on the blogs and see in documentaries. I still remember the young Sparta male with the Mangehene pride at the hippo kill. He was not quite part of the pride and stayed on the edge.

Six million acres is a lot of territory. More than anyone or even group of people can monitor. But I like the thought to try and organize the guides throughout the Kruger National Park via online resources to better understand where the offspring end up.

We tag and track sharks all over the globe, I wish we could do that with these lions. It would explain so much.

First of all I commend you all on identifying so many lions and leopards within the greater Kruger territory. With the leopards I’ve come to understand they are more easily identified by their spots above their whiskers. However, I would think the lions would be more difficult- more so the females. The males’ manes, scars, size make them more identifiable but if they disappear for awhile I would think there would be a few physical changes.

I’m still thinking about a leopard I met in Singita, Monzo, who would be around 3years now. I saw others there and in Botswana but he left an impression. Why, I can’t explain. Cecil was special and I’ll never forget him.

I think you’re correct in saying so many lions, leopards, etc are not represented because of the lack of social media exposure and also so many would be supporters just can’t get to Africa for mainly financial reasons. I just wish there were more documentary films being made about the conservation efforts including highlights of the personalities of the bush…….

Interesting blog, thanks James. I’ve always been very interested in these lions, having seen then several times at Londolozi and I was actually there in your first picture with Simon as my ranger when the Sparta pride brought that buffalo down (what an experience!). There has been some news of these males however, with at least one killed by the Manthimale males south of the Sabi Sands and rumours the others are no more too sadly. It’s a tough life for these yong males..

It’s just an impossibility to cover them all …. sad though. The nameless one’s carry just as much of a dramatic bush life as another and are just as important. One masters what is put before them and Londolozi does their part admirably. Meanwhile, like you, the Tsalala female wanders alone and I remain very concerned.

These were a phenomenal set of lions!

Great story James we believe the area around Skukuza we visited after you last year is controlled by 5 Mpondo Dam males so out of the frying pan comes to mind. I do hope they return as they were our fist pride we saw on Londolozi in 2012 with Sandros and Lucky

One of my absolute favorite photos of all time from Londolozi is of the incredible Sparta pride with all the young males to become the mighty Mapogo coalition walking past the vehicle

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