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James Tyrrell

Alumni

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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17 Comments

on Do Lions Miss Their Pride?

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Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hi James may the dynamic of the pride behaviour be different from that that caused the death of the Othawa male if attacked by the avoca males?

Penny Tainton
Senior Digital Ranger

Magnificent photos of magnificent subjects. Thank you!

Tammy Hynes
Explorer

What about that lioness that list her pride and for 3 days she stayed in the same spot calling on the third she seen a pride down the road, she was careful to make sure it was hers. Soon they all realized ran towards each other greeted with lots of face rubs and then they spent the day together right there. It’s a two min video, very touching

Valmai Vorster
Digital Tracker

James the Lions are usually so affectionate towards each other. Now this begs the question of why are they splitting up into smaller groups. I am beginning to think it could be for food, so that they don’t have to share it with so many other pride members. You can understand when a female goes off on her own to give birth and to feed the cubs. The Ntsevu pride had a lot of members before , the breaking up into smaller groups makes a person wonder why they are doing this. When they call each other from a distance they usually ran to meet each other. I suppose we will never understand their behavior completely.

This reading arouse so much thinking in me. I see your leopards becoming more social. May it be a different story with lions? Or may a certain kind of interspecies interference exist between those cats living so close in a game reserve territory? Thanks a lot for the article.

Jennifer Ridgewell
Senior Digital Ranger

Hmmmmmm James, this really brought a smile to my face and I love to think are absolutely correct. The expression and body language of the two females greeting each other is surely affirmation!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

I tend to agree with you James in your assessment that lions do feel a familia bond, even whilst separated. In the example of the Ntsevus, at 22 strong at one point, perhaps breaking away into smaller groups was the only way to survive-one Buffalo kill isn’t enough to feed a crowd. But like in any family, absence could make the heart grow fonder and after ignoring familiar family calls, the one came that couldn’t be ignored. Romantic thought perhaps, but who knows, really?

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Wonderful pictures, James, especially the one in which all of them are taking it easy on the airfield. And also the one with the two lionesses greeting each other so fondly.
Regarding human emotions and animals: We humans also evolved from the same kind of ancestors, billions of years ago and for that reason might well share some common emotions, I think. And we do understand at least some of the body language of animals. So there must be something we have in common.
I don’t want to become too philosophical, but…

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

James, What a great post. We have been fortunate to see the positive emotions from members of a pride when they are reunited. We have also seen the drama when competing males try to gain control. We have always said that lion drama is way more exciting than the reality shows on TV!!! 😉

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Funny your should be bringing this topic up, as I was thinking the same thing reading the recent stories on the dynamics of the Ntsevu Pride. A conundrum indeed…perhaps it’s just a matter of wanting to spend time alone once in awhile, away from the maddening crowd 😂. However the needs of each lion/lioness at a given time, as you say James, require some distance so I’m sure they can’t wait for that moment to pass in order to reconnect with the ‘tribe’ 🙏🏻

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, them🤗

Linda From California
Senior Digital Ranger

You bring up a good question, Do Lions Miss Their Pride? I’ve noticed territorial males searching for one another and reaffirming their relationship when they meet-up and when they meet up with their pride after a territorial patrol. I do think there may be other factors as to why they choose to be away from the pride, but when they do meet up, there is that instant greeting by all.

Leonie De Young
Digital Tracker

An interesting blog James. These are times when you wish they could talk and we could find the answer to these questions. Thanks for sharing with us.

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

Like everything in this world there is undoubtably a range of personalities and life experiences and psychological reasons why lions or any other social creatures may prefer to be mostly with the pride or mostly/entirely separate from the pride with a wide range in between.

Mama Lioness
Senior Digital Ranger

This weeks captures have so much expression amidst the lions daily lives. – The affection shared by the two Ntsevu subadults is adorable. It’s heart warming. The clan of lions layinig on the road is comical. All I can think is,.. “Silly ol kitties!” 🙂

Mary Kay M.
Explorer

All interesting questions. Leads me to ask why then does the lioness who leaves, travels in and out of the pride as a subadult really do face shunning by the females? If the instinct is to be affectionate and accepting, what’s the real underlying trigger to not accept her back? What will the fate of the lone subadult female split with the males be? Lions are truly a better drama than any on t.v!

Kimberly Zilles
Senior Digital Ranger

As lion behaviors are all about domination and survival of one’s bloodlines, I think you’ve got it right in saying they just don’t realize missing each other themselves. It is a treat to witness their reunions though. They certainly do appear to be affectionate.

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