Many of you will have seen on our social media pages that the Tsalala female was caught by the Ntsevu pride last week and mauled.
It was certainly one of the most dramatic sightings we’ve been witness to this year, and we were incredibly relieved to see the Tsalala female walk away at the end of it with what seemed like only minor injuries.
Despite how it may appear in the video, the Birmingham males didn’t seem to want to actually attack her themselves. One of them was only interested in mating with one of the Ntsevu females, and the other who seemed to be involved at the centre of the whole thing, looked like he was almost acting as a peacemaker, reluctant to engage with the Tsalala female, and even swatting out at some of the Ntsevu lionesses.
In the immediate aftermath of the fight, the Tsalala female walked upstream in the Sand River, distancing herself from the Ntsevu pride.
We suspected the cub was somewhere back close to where the altercation took place, but was most likely lying low, reluctant to move with the pride so close.
That afternoon we returned to the area, but there was no sign of either Tsalala lion, most likely because the Ntsevu pride were still up on the northern bank a couple of hundred metres away.
The next morning the pride had moved off and we could hear the Birmingham males roaring way down south, but still no sign of the Tsalalas. We checked north and south of the river, but not even a track.
Thankfully, the next day we received reports that the cub had been seen downstream from Londolozi in the Manyelethi riverbed, and although it wasn’t with its mother, her tracks had been seen nearby. The cub appeared in good health.
Then, finally, reports came in last night that both mother and cub were found together, both looking perfectly healthy, lying in the Sand River.
We have yet to see them united ourselves, but anticipate doing so soon.