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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12 Comments

on Why are the Ntsevu Lions Bad at Hunting Buffalo?

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Interesting thoughts James. Ihave just finished reading Liontide, The white lions of Timbavati and Operation White Lion, all from Christopher McBride. What he has observed was that the lions in the Timbavati hunted Wildebeest and hardly ever Buffalo. In the Savuti in Botswana the prides hunted mostly Buffalo. He also saw that they hunt at night and always go for a calf.

Irene Henkes
Explorer

Quite right James. I think it is difficult for them. They have not learned from their mums. Perhaps the males have more experience and can help them with the tactics. Because that is probably what is lacking.
Love your blogs!!!

Henk Slettenhaar
Senior Digital Ranger

Another interesting story. The photos are beautiful.

Andrew and Daniel Bolnick
Digital Tracker

James, Very interesting how all this works. How will they feed this large pride on only Zebra. Keep us posted. I imagine you will have many sightings ahead

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

Since their mothers weren’t big buffalo hunters, is it possible they never learned how to take down a buffalo? Or should it be instinctual? Perhaps they need a lesson from the Tsalala lioness!!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

I enjoyed reading your blog today. It’s fascinating how some predators favor hunting certain prey such as leopards seeming to prefer impala or like species. I guess it depends on size, speed, and numbers of potential prey in the case of lions. I would have though the Ntsevu and Birmingham group would be “hot on the trail” for Buffalo to feed this huge pride.

Looking forward to seeing the next litter of cubs!!

My very first comment for this story

Joan Schmiidt
Digital Tracker

James, wonderful blog today. I did not realize that the Ntsevu Pride was inept at bringing down buffalo.

Ian Hall
Digital Tracker

Well animals are different , and maybe with the wealth of Sabi Sands herbivores they don’t need to take the risks with a buffalo, or maybe they have suffered a severe mauling by an irate bull? Never believed the stories about the aggressive nature of buffalos until ….

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

They may be inept now, but time and real necessity should solve that problem. Perhaps Tsalala needs to give them pointers. I was so proud when she took down an adult bull alone!

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Love your final turn of the phrase. Lions have always struck us as adept hunters regardless of the prey but now we will watch a little more closely to see if patterns exist. Thanks for the unique insight.

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

That is unusual that a pride as large as this is bad at hunting buffalo. I have heard of a pride in the Delta that was larger than this, but preffered hunting warthogs, baboon and impala to buffalos despite their abundance. Maybe these lionesses never learned the art of buffalo hunting.

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