About the Author

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 The Week in Pictures #398

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Lovely pics. Love all the buffalo and the blood moon is stunning.

Another wonderful week’s pictures. The 3 sets of oxpecker eyes at first glance looked like a weird lizard out of a science fiction film! Second sip of coffee realigned them. Seriously wonderful pictures. Victoria

Fabulous photos. Blood Moon, Aloes, Birmingham Males. All good stuff. Thanks for a great week in pictures

Thanks guys!

James, I loved the photo with the 2 lions

Superb photo’s and commentary this week, James! I liked the image of the impala ewe with the leopard’s paw. Great job!

Thanks Joanne. That image was actually most people’s favourite!

Digital Ranger


Great post. Per the comment on the Birmingham males. Pease correct me if I’m wrong in any of these details. Often times coalitions will split up and be out on their own for days. You mention these guys are usually solo or a duo and rarely a trio. Is this a function of helping their injured brother? They have to know he can’t be left on his own. And so this could be why they will always be a duo or solo. There always has to be a pair for the injured boy. Otherwise they would all be seen solo more often. Thoughts?

Hi Mark,
I think coalitions split to cover ground more effectively. Having a presence throughout a territory and roaring from different points of the compass would probably be a better way of maintaining the territorial markers.
As far as the injured male goes, he is actually left on his own quite often. It’s an interesting question; just how much loyalty is there within the coalition when it comes to waiting for an injured comrade. Granted he is usually with one of his brothers, but that may be a function of HIM trying to stick with them rather than one of them remaining with him for protection…

Digital Ranger

Thanks for the reply, James. I had a “few” more thoughts. It brought to mind something i’ve never really discussed. Apologies ahead of time for the length.

First, Good point. He is more than likely following. Not sure why I didnt have that same thought. Now with tha said, I don’t want to take away from the idea that I think a strong sense of loyalty exists. From what I have seen (which doesn’t compare to your experiences ) these guys deal with a wide range of emotion and characteristics similar to us but maybe just not as dynamic or extensive. And they certainly care for and protect each other. Would love to see this relationship documented over a couple months to see just how they work together. Otherwise, I feel terrible for him. They are so good at masking pain and its no different here. You can see in various videos how he favors that leg pretty extensively. I just hope it isnt too painful.

This brings up another thought I have always had around when we do and when we dont help out victims of various scuffles and fighting. Sometimes I wish somebody would go in there, put him down for a few hours, and try to do a corrective surgery. But I know thats quite an undertaking and could be disruptive.

But, In a more broad sense, I am wholy in favor of helping those who are injured whether caused, as defined by us in error many instances, “naturally” or by humans. Because at this point in time, one way or another, it can be argued that a large percentage of injuries that occur could one way or aother be traced back to the human activity.

We have put these lions in a dire situation and feel therefor it is intrsically our duty to provide “health care” no matter the situation. We see injured lions and leopards, injuries that were caused in a scuffle or territory, for example. And we see that an injury is life threatening, but we stay hands off because it was a natural occurance. But, who is to say that injury is truly natural. In many instances, the actual injury may have derived from the fact that lions and leopards are scuffling much more often due to diminishing habitat.

Same with a scuffle over food. If more habitat existed, there would be more food available, less chance cats find themselves in altercations around food. Less of a chance that cats need to take a chance in an unknown territory, driven by their sense of not having eaten for four days. And, simply, more habitat means less of an opportunity for cats to run into each other. Better communication about whose territory is whose.

Loss of habitat is a problem created by us. But loss of habitat is the derivative of many issues that we don’t observe. One issue we can’t calculate, but there’s a possibility we cause it, is increased number of altercations that result in life threatening or life altering injuries. And I think we should take more responsibility over those injuries. We don’t even know. Maybe back 20,000 years, these cats lived within complete harmony and would rarely scuffle. I don’t know if that is the case. But who is to say that wasn’t the case? Africa is a very large area. YOu could imagine there was plenty of prime cat real estatt. These cats don”t want to fight. That is the last thing they want to do. But the tension is undoubtedly amped up as habitat continues to be lost.

Hello James! Are you expecting your blog readers to guess whose paw it is on the head of the impale? Tough question…. But anyway the picture is fabulous. Thanks!

A good array of photos this week, especially the leopard paw on the impala head. That was an amazing shot! Loved the group of oxpeckers on the buffalo’s back as well. I’m hoping the Tortoise Pan male will stick around- would love to see him fully grown.

Senior Digital Ranger

Such a powerful shot with the impala head and the leopard’s paw upon it. Really makes you think about how quick the life experience truly is.

Master Tracker

Wowzer, some cracking shots there James, a bit left – field for many perhaps, but my choice for this week’s wall candy would be the impala in the tree .

You’re not alone there Ian; turns out a number of people liked it as well. Thanks for the comments.

James, just another well-done on the photos! We really like the unusual shots like the impala/leopard paw in the tree. Very real …

Just returned from an unbelievable week of sightings.
Saw the Tortoise Pan Male multiple times in different locations as you described.
Also saw Mashaba multiple times. Sean and Finn will have some unbelievable photos of her huge catch falling from a tree and snagged in a lower branch immediately over our vehicles. Her incredible strength in recovering it was so amazing.
Also saw Nkoveni multiple times as well as Ximungwe. Three Rivers, Flat Rock, Makomsava (sp).

The large herd of buffalo (more than 300) rushing the watering hole was an unexpected thrilling adventure.

I could go on & on, but this was our most diverse trip of our 4. Still have not recovered,

Senior Digital Ranger

Excellent photos capture the initial feeling one has in reaction to the actual spotting, the moment you arrive at a special sighting, even to the angling of binos on the buffalo to see the bright beaks of Oxpeckers – could almost be there!

Senior Digital Ranger

Beautiful pictures and a interesting story about the leopards!

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