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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 The Youngest Ntsevu Cubs

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Digital Ranger

Sometimes less is more!

Does the three cubs belong to one lioness? If they do does she know or realize they can’t keep up with the pride? Is it survival of the fittest or bigger cubs that is more important to the lionessess? Are they becoming a “burden” for the pride?

James, great blog today. The Birmingham Males aren’t getting their fare share of the kills, and the cubs aren’t getting their fare share of the kills? What will happen?

Frightening to think about! Nature can be cruel. I have to hope there is a split soon, so the 3 babies have a chance. Thanks for updating us periodically!

James, in times such as these the Londolozi Blog is a welcome daily respite. I know we all hope only the best for the little ones. Hopefully the forces at work will be kind to these three cubs. On the positive side the rains could not have come this year at a better time. Life appears abundant. Look forward to your stories each day

Fingers crossed for the 3young It will be fascinating to see how and if the pride separates. Keep us up to date and above all everyone at Londolozi stay safe. Victoria

What is the age difference between the youngest cubs and the litter up?

Is there such a thing as a “too big” pride for everyone to survive?

Thank goodness!!

This is so fascinating! New to all of this, so the real time observations are deeply engaging.

Master Tracker

You also wonder if the Birmingham males are going to last through to the maturity of the cubs ?

Will be interesting to see the developments.

Senior Digital Ranger

But James, don’t the males determine that they eat the youngest cubs with them first

Hi Ana,
Can you clarify that question a bit further? Are you asking if the males allow the youngest cubs to eat first?

Senior Digital Ranger

Yes, that was the question. Because Discovery, NAT Geo and others always show how males eat first and with them cubs. And then the rest of the pack. In that case, the cubs should not starve. Or Birmingham males aren`t fathers? But then they`d kill them? Or….? Tnx

Hi Ana,
The reality is things are so variable. most of the time we simply see every lion for themselves, but yes, on occasion we have seen the males allow one or two of the smaller cubs to feed alongside them and no other lions, although there is usually a bit of growling and a few cuffs aimed at the cubs first to discourage them.
The Birmingham males are the fathers of these cubs.

Senior Digital Ranger

I hope that the cubs survive.

If they continue killing larger prey like zebra and wildebeest they should be fine. Still not sure why a pride of this size doesn’t prey on buffalo or giraffe more regularly.

Well, there’s certainly no lack of drama on the lion front. I had thought lionesses, after giving birth, really took the time to make sure they were fed and safe, but reading between the lines, it seems now there are just too many cubs, and the youngest three seem to be on their own. We’ll all be waiting to see how this pride will carry on in the future-

Really holding thumbs for those 3 little cubs. If they survive this they will be stronger for it. Wendy M

What is the ending of the fourth of the youngest cubs, has it disappeared, why has it disappeared?

Hi Yanzhe,
We’re not actually sure. It might have gone exactly the way we fear for the current three; not enough nutrition, falls behind and something snapped it up…

Always look forward to the updates, hoping that the cubs reach maturity. Thanks so much for a great lockdown diversion. Stay safe and regards to all at Londolozi

I hope that they make it, it would be a shame to lose them, but I do understand how Mother Nature works.

Senior Digital Ranger

James, will the winter months ahead make a difference to hunting patterns, availability of prey?

I think Mother Natures way is harsh and wildlife has to fight for that survival because nature has it’s way in make sure only the strongest survival and the offspring has to fight for the rights of survive because only the strong genes live to pass on those strong genes and animals that are weak die that’s why only a few make it and to live to be a adult they would have to have that strong will to live and the mothers are making them strong and tough and have to learn what it takes to be able to live in situations that they are going to have to step up to earn that right to be able to fight for its rights to be able to take on situations of the larger and older ones in the pride we all have seen cubs fighting back at their fathers at feeding sits , am I kind of right about this if you are able to understand my question

Inevitable there must be a split coming, how can they keep feeding so many-

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