We have had the odd glimpse of the Tsalala female and her youngster, however nothing to write home about.
I personally haven’t seen the two of them since prior to their horrific encounter with the Ntsevu Pride. Now, months after that, the duo is thriving.
It is phenomenal to see how the youngster has grown. Born in March 2019, she is now just over 17 months. At this age, she is following her mother around almost 100% of the time. This means she is gaining valuable hunting experience from observing her mother stalk and chase prey. It doesn’t mean she has lost her playful side though… We witnessed her running around with a small branch in her mouth, throwing it in the air and even presenting the stick to her mother. This play will provide valuable skills for later in life.
When the two of them did eventually move off, they happened to bump in to an unsuspecting herd of impala. For the first time, we witnessed the younger lioness attempt to assist her mother in the hunt. Within seconds of seeing the herd – that was still unaware of the lions – the Tsalala female dropped into a stalk and looped ahead of the unsuspecting antelope. Upon seeing her mother’s behaviour change, her daughter also dropped into a stalk and swiftly manoeuvred into a flanking position on the opposite side of the herd. Seeing this silent and effective teamwork is a phenomenal show of instinct and prowess.
The impala herd spotted the young lion quickly. This was arguably the plan from the beginning, as impala were sent sprinting straight towards the Tsalala female. She crouched in position ready to lurch out at one of the fleeing antelope. Unfortunately for the pair though, none of the impala were quite close enough for the Tsalala female to grasp. I’m almost certain that if they didn’t have such full bellies, they would have put in a bit more effort!
If the pair continues to stick to the Sand River and Manyelethi River like they have been, they should steer clear of other lions for the time being. Are we seeing the real start of the regrowth of the Tsalala Pride?
Oh I do hope that this is the renaissance of the Tsalala Pride. What a fantastic story and to see them doing so well together is just brilliant
The cub has grown into a beautiful young lioness. Lovely video.
Oh these two are hanging on a fingernail (or claw) – really rooting for them, the cheetahs and the wild dogs
That would be great! There is a good opportunity when the cub gets to adulthood, I would say. And she is more than half way there! I will keep my fingers crossed……………..
Such wonderful news and fabulous photos of that beautiful girl! I think we are all rooting for the Tsalala lioness to have a successful cub grow to age and help with regenerating a pride. Such a courageous soul. Our hearts go out to her.
A wonderful story…so happy to hear they are thriving. Joy to my eyes and ears
This makes me so happy to see and read. On our last visit (far too long ago now!) we were lucky to track and find the Tsalala female and her then 3 small and very cute cubs! Happy that one survives still with the Tsalala female – hoping that the unique Tsalala traits of true grit, courage and determination continue to shine .
It’s lovely to see those two lionesses thriving. A very brave mother, and the cub looks so healthy and well fed. I do hope that the future will be kind to them.
This is wonderful……and hopefully they will have a very strong bond for many years as they rebuild their pride!
I PRAY THESE 2 STAY SAFE & WE DO SEE THE REBIRTH of THE TSALALAS!!!!!! They were my 1st PRIDE I MET and MY ALL TIME FAVORITES!!!!!!!!!!
WOW! She has really grown into a beautiful young lioness. I dream for the day that they are part of a wonderful pride, and that I get the opportunity to see it! Thank you so very much for sharing this, just the best news to put a smile on many faces!!
What a wonderful video, Pete. Watching her mother stalk and hunt, and copying her is one thing, but to loop round the other side of the impala herd is incredibly impressive, as you say. You could understand it more if she were part of a large pride and had witnessed that sort of teamwork. How old will she have to be before she is “safe” from male lions? These 2 are such a success story, long may it last.
fascinating how nature and instinct seamlessly sharpen the young lioness for the life battles ahead.I have observed that play forms the core of adulthood skills grooming.Brilliant pics all round.The spots on lion legs gradually shade with maturity.
That video is so wonderful, just to see her playful and carefree and to see both of them in their element with no troubles. Perfection! I hope this is the rebirth of the Tsalala pride!
So happy both are doing so well and here’s to hoping the young lioness continues to thrive up to her second birthday. Pete, let’s say (because I’m a superstitious person, I’m not going to assume anything) the young lioness (who could be considered a sub-adult now, right?) makes it to two-years old and eventually breeding age. What would need to happen in order for the two females to successfully rebuild the pride operating in such a small area given the larger prides surrounding them (and taking into consideration the number of young females in the Ntsevu Pride)? Also, has the Birmingham Males (or one of them) been seen in the area the two Tsalala females have been in recently?
I’m not familiar with the history behind the Tsalala pride but I am so very happy that these two have managed to steer away from more trouble. I feel they seem to have an unusually stronger bond after their ‘near death’ experience with the Ntsevu pride and hope they continue to thrive 🙏🏻💕. Wonderful photos of mother and cub
My favorite girls, always look forward to hearing about them and seeing photos!
I love this! I’m so glad they’re both doing well.
Great video and love the update on the Cubs progress. Also if interest was your account of their joint hunt!
So great to hear that they are both doing so well!
This sighting is fantastic, knowing the Tsalala lioness has raised her daughter to a sub-adult stage. Fingers crossed she can continue to grow and learn from her brilliant mother.
I can’t tell you how over joyed I am to see the beautiful Tsalala Queen and her not so little princess!!… what a truly courageous and magnificent lioness…they’re inspirational…..what a story of survival against all the odds..let’s all hope that this continues into their future and the Tsalala pride can be reborn again…. …thanks Pete… will be waiting for more news about these very special “gorgeous girls” ….they are loved by so many of us out there!…
Always great to have updates on Tsalala and her cub. My family was at Londolozi in June 2019 where we captured on camera Tsalala and her three cubs. Unfortunately we were saddened when we read the bad news. Now we are so happy and proud of this lioness. WE had reservations to return on this day to Londolozi. For obvious reason our trip to South Africa will take place in one year exactly (reservations confirmed). Hope to see Tsalala and her cub pregnant.On our first Safari, our guide will ask «what would you like to see this morning/afternoon?». Our answer will wholeheartedly be : Tsalala and her cub. Thanks for the regular updates
It is always a pleasure to read of the success of the Tsalala Pride.. I hope they continue to grow and in time both will have cubbies to add to their numbers.
WONDERFUL NEWS!!! Thank you Pete for this update along with the precious pictures. it has truly made my day, added with a few tears of joy.
Tsalala mum is a real heroine of the natural world! How beautiful her daughter is. Maybe in the future they will be able to give birth to a new pride? Maybe with Avoca males?
I love these two! I really enjoy the updates, thank you Pete
Pete, What a great post! We are so happy to see that cute little cub, coming into her own!