How Old is That Lion? Part 3 | Londolozi Blog

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Nick Sims


Nick always had a love for nature. Growing up in Johannesburg, the annual family trip to the bush (particularly the Kruger Lowveld region of South Africa) became an escape from city life. When he and his brother weren't physically in the bush, they ...

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on How Old is That Lion? Part 3

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Nick, it is interesting that a male lions mane get dàrker or blacker as it age. In the Kalahari region the males have got black manes. They are also called the black maned Kalahari lions. Apparently there is not a genetic difference to the other lions in Africa. The thinking is that because it is such a harsh environment that they live and survive in, that they have got more testoterone levels, and that it is only the biggest and strongest males that survive in those conditions.

Victoria Auchincloss
Digital Tracker

i always learn something from the blog. Tracing the growth of lion manes as the mane shows age and strength! fascinating. Thank you, Victoria

Francesca Doria
Senior Digital Ranger

Very beautifully written and informative thank you! They truly are kings

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

Nick, I saved lion🤗, and I also saved the lions by the truck🤗

Leslie Kaye

Very interesting read …. I have one cat, a Maine Coon, and he has a very impressive mane ….I should say “had” because I had him neutered for his own health and safety and we have a very serious number of stray cats here on Long Island … we don’t need any more for their sakes and ours …his mane lost its fullness and beauty once he was neutered. I understand now ….Lions are so spectacular….and so is my wonderful Minx….even though is Mane is not as dramatic!!!! Thanks for the article … I enjoyed reading it.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

This has been a fascinating series Nick so thank you. It seems that identifying the age of male lions is much easier than that of females because of the mane development, whereas with the females, one would have to be close enough to really study their features, looking at their teeth and noses. I still think watching the antics of 8-12 weeks old cubs is the icing on the lion cake-I can’t stop smiling!!

Christa Blessing
Digital Tracker

Indeed the Ottawa male looks just magnificent. Beautiful and impressive. The Majingilane male lion looks to me like an old gentleman, past his prime, but still someone who demands respect for everything he has achieved during his life. As you write so aptly, he has left a legacy.

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Nick, what happens to the older male lions once they reach the last 1-2 years of their life? Is the threat mainly from other males, hyaenas, etc?

Nick Sims

Hi Bob and Lucie
That is correct, the biggest threat to an old male lion that has left the pride would be other male lione, hyaenas and starvation.

Leonie De Young
Senior Digital Ranger

Thanks for this interesting 3rd part of the series on determining the age of a lion. I will never make it over to go on a safari Nick, but I do like to watch your virtual ones and read the blogs. The male lions have a tough life don’t they. Be well and stay safe to all at Londolozi.

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Thanks Nick, This has been a great series!

Nick, thanks for the informative read. Is the Birmingham Males still alive and in the territory?

Tammy Hynes

Can you guys help the Tsalasa female and new cub, the min with food here and there she’s all alone and bringing that pride back would be great

Paul Canales
Digital Tracker

Great series Nick, and I absolutely love your affirmed belief that “…a male lion’s mane makes him look pretty hardcore!” Lions of Londolozi ROCK!!!

Kara Taylor
Digital Tracker

Thanks Nick, that’s very informative! I loved the perspective you put on the older lion too as I would have a tendency to feel bad for them as the deteriorate but maybe now will feel like that Lion survived and lived a great life!

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

Very fascinating and written so well. My thanks

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