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Robert Ball

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Robbie developed a passion for the African bush from many visits to his family’s small holding in a greater conservancy just outside Johannesburg. Living in the big city his whole life, he always found refuge in the outdoors and has grown to appreciate ...

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on The Northern Avoca Coalition Step into a Power Vacuum

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The Blondie Male of the Northern Avoca Males has had an injury for month and he is limping for some times, did you see fresh visual scars on him that can confirm a clash with the Bboys? Kind regards and great stuff, thanks for sharing

Hi Artur, there were no fresh visual scars that would confirm a clash with the Birmingham males. By looking at his injury and the tracks from that previous night we made an inference that there had been conflict between the coalitions.

What a thriller this lion saga is! We eagerly await to read the sequel… if the Avoca overcome the Birmingham coalition the cubs will be likely killed isn’t it? They protected them against the Othawa…

That would be the most likely scenario, we will have to see how the coming months (potentially years) play out to have any certainty though.

Great article Robert! Was wondering if you all have seen the Tsalala Lioness and her daughter recently and whether she might mate with the Avocas as well assuming she is back in her traditional home range?

We actually haven’t seen the Tsalala pride recently, they have apparently been spending more time to the west of Londolozi. Judging by where she has been spending her time – mating with the Avoca males is a likely scenario (although we think she may already be pregnant…)

Any chance they just had a particularly nasty fight between each other for first mating rights with the female?

Good question, I was wondering the same thing since the female was around. But they were past the Sand River which is Birmingham’s territory. Time will tell.

It’s possible that the injury could have been a result of a scrap between the two brothers, but tracks from the previous night of the two coalitions colliding suggest otherwise.

Master Tracker

Fascinating, nature raw in tooth , claw and paternity

Oh ! how I still can’t get over the death of the majestic Othawa male lion. The two Birmingham male lions are getting old know and I hope they are not going to fight with Avoca 2 male lions. But I suppose that is how it goes in the wild, only the strongest survive. All four lions are beautiful in their own right. Thanks Robbie for insight on the male lions.

You’re welcome, Valmai!

Really exciting this fight for dominance of the different coalitions. I am looking forward to hearing more of the future developments of this story.

We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop

Sounds as if the death of the Othawa male was the first excitement in this chapter of the lion dynamics. Hope the ladies and the cubs will be safe!

Robert, loved lions

This is very worrisome for the Tsalala two?

Not necessarily, we think that the Tsalala lioness has been receptive to new males, meaning that The Avoca males may not in fact pose a huge threat to her daughter

Blondie, of the Avocas has had an injury for 2 years now, left hip.

In this case his front left leg seemed to be impaired

Still can’t believe Othawa is now here anymore… The most beautiful king I’ve seen =]

Love the maps! Which males are dominant in the MJangeni Pride area? Birminghams?

The dominant male used to be the Othawa male (who is no longer…), only time will tell which males become dominant over the Mhangeni pride

Thanks for the exciting update Robert! We can’t wait to hear more!!

You’re welcome, Michael and Terri!

Well, having been in control of their territory and pride, it seems the B boys are slowly ageing out of the powerful hold they’ve held since 2017. During my trip in April, I watched one of the Birmingham males slowly making his way to rest under a tree, pausing to roar a bit, but no return call was heard. He had certainly aged since I saw him in November, 2019, but just a couple of weeks later, it seems he and his brother took down the Othawa male, half their age. However, the Othawa was alone and the Avocas are brothers, so the reign of the Birmingham’s could come to an end in a fight to the death. There will definitely be changes in the months ahead and I’m looking forward to learning who the new kings will be.

Well put, Denise! Aren’t we all!

Under estimating the old guard could prove many wrong once again. Yes the Othawa male was a lone male but a healthy well conditioned male. The Avoca male are not in the best condition, they have one male in good condition which is not in their favour when going against the old guard who have No impairing injuries, yes they are old but they are in good condition, look quite fit and have experience on their side. Avoca’s did not fight for the territory or the Nkuhuma pride, that pride and area was deserted by the Bboys (old guard) who went for greener pastures.
Also there are at least 2 other coalitions looking for a place to call home. My point here is the avocas should be more concerned for the safety of their existing cubs from intruding males that are young around 5 years and full of fight then trying to take on dominant males that are not going to lay down.

Some very noteworthy points, I appreciate your interest Heather. You are correct, with a few coalitions in the greater area that are around 5 years of age, both the old guard and Northern Avoca males are going to have to keep their wits about them.

A coming storm……the lion politics are always fascinating.

Never a dull moment Robbie when it comes to the dynamics of the various coalitions it seems. How this will affect the sub adults, lionesses and cubs is what worries me. Great reading Robbie thanks for sharing 🙏❤️

You’re welcome, Cally!

Having been there the day that the Birminghams made their first appearance on Londolozi and witnessed one of the formerly dominant Majingilane males running away from the prospects of an encounter, it’s hard to think that the same fate may soon befall the BBoys! Can’t wait to hear more.

How amazing! We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.

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