About the Author

Paul Danckwerts

Ranger

Zambian-born, Paul grew up a fisherman, a birder and a lover of all things outdoors. Following his passion for wildlife he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Rhodes University before heading for the lowveld. Paul boasts a number of years guiding ...

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14 Comments

on The Birmingham Male Lions

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Beautifully written. Goosebumps. Love these stories about the lion prides.

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

Paul, today is my birthday, I am turning 70!
Great blog today – I have seen the Birmingham males on last visit in 2018.
We will be there in 2020 to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary!

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

Thanks, a reminder that lion power is at best transient

Irene Henkes
Senior Digital Ranger

Very interesting to know about the background of coalitions like this. Especially those that are around for a longer period. Keep up the good work!! 😉

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

What a story! I can’t even imagine the roaring, dust-flying fight over the rhino carcass. It must have been heart stopping!

Johanna Browne
Explorer

Haunting and lyrical. I teamed up at the fear of losing that vocal forever…

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Great backstory on these magnificent males-and now only two rule their territory. Only time will tell who the next coalition will be, drifting in to claim their place…..

Lachlan Fetterplace
Senior Digital Ranger

Glad you dug this one up!

Michael Fleetwood
Digital Tracker

The Birminghams have done extremely well for themselves since they arrived in the Sabi Sands, and while it is a shame that their numbers have gone from five to two, it is encouraging that the lion dynamics in terms of the males in the Sabi Sands at the moment seems to be stable, something that hasn’t been the case for the majority of the last decade, with big coalitions moving and shifting. The Birminghams have been very successful (the only factor of success being direct genetic line/offspring). They currently have five surviving cubs from the Nkuhuma Pride (one sub-adult male, four females) born in mid-2016, with some of the females now mating with the Avoca Males, four surviving cubs with the Styx Pride (three females, one male) born between late 2016-mid/late-2017, several youngsters from the Torchwood Pride (6-8 – not entirely sure – females, one young male), the young sub-adult female in the Mhangeni Pride, and of course the 15 youngsters (not sure of the sex ratio) in the Ntsevu Pride. When all is said and done, they should and will have proven themselves as a very successful coalition.

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

Dear Paul. What a descriptive and well written article! Well done. Quite fascinating to read the story of the Birminghams. They are absolutely magnificent to look at and must be just as magnificent to hear! As you say, may they reign a long long time at Londolozi. Warm regards. Wendy M

Leonie De Young
Senior Digital Ranger

A great “dug up” blog Paul. What magnificent animals the Birmingham boys were/are still. Amazing that the two survivors are still holding their own. Thanks for sharing with us and good to hear about the lion dynamics.

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

I’m grateful that this blog post was uncovered and posted. What a terrific writer you are Paul! You unfolded the story so well that I felt I was also on the scene while all the layers of fighting occurred. My thanks to the author and to the one who determined this should be posted.

Sugar Sean
Explorer

Imagine that, NINE male lions in one small area. Pity there isn’t a picture, but even so…

Trish Monck
Master Tracker

Really enjoy the history-

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