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Nick Sims

Alumni Field Guide

Nick was a ranger at Londolozi from 2018 - 2022. He 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 ...

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on What’s Happening with the Ntsevu Pride’s Sub-Adults?

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If the Ntsevu Sub-Adults five males survive, I could see them swagger in on a new territory ready to claim it. That would be something to see.

Is it generally true that all the pride brothers always stay together to form a coalition, no matter how many there are?

Hi Mary Beth! In many cases the brothers will stay together, however we have seen that sometime the brothers split into two or more smaller coalitions. This is often the case when the group of young males is large.

Hi Nick, thanks so much for this update! Am curious as to the number of the sub-adults/clarification. I was told by another ranger (cannot remember from which reserve) that the sub-adults consisted of 13 (seven females, six males). Was this an inaccurate number at the time or have two been lost? Also how have the male dynamics affected the sub-adults, if at all?

Hey Michael, the subs numbered 14 and i believe a few males and 1 or 2 females went missing or died.

Hi Michael, when I wrote this we were seeing 10 together and no sign of the others. The last official count had 11 sub-adults (6 females, 5 males) and 2 younger sub adults. Due to the nature of lions at this age, they have been wandering around a lot and it is difficult to get a handle on how many still remain. We will certainly update you on their numbers should anything change but for now your count of 13 seems to be correct.

This morning I found your post as soon as I switched on my mobile! The best way to start the day, get up and go like a subadult pride of lions… can’t wait to read the following, great pictures as always, thank you Nick!

Like you said, anything can happen. I wonder if they ever split so that half the adults and half the sub-adults form two separate prides? That way there would be more experienced adults in each pride, versus all sub-adult females. I could see how this wouldn’t make sense for the adults though, if they are no longer invested in those offspring and have new cubs. It’ll be fascinating to watch, regardless of the outcome.

Hi Chelsea, although unlikely, that would be very interesting to watch!

Senior Digital Ranger

Having been astonished by the number of cubs in this pride in November of 2018 when we were at Londolozi I appreciate the updates. I still remember the apparent fatigue of the “babysitter” lioness tasked with watching all the little ones with various ages of curiosity as the other lionesses were out hunting. Tough detail!!!!

I could certainly see the 5 sub-adult males become a force in the future, much like the once powerful Birmingham coalition. During a trip in 2017 I had the opportunity to follow the Mhagene pride of 16, that ultimately provided the sub adult females who became the Ntsevu pride. I’m so glad that there are guides/trackers who keep records of all these cat movements.

Master Tracker

The wheel turns , fascinating to see what will happen, but a coalition of five males could be very formidable

Nick I think the sub adults males will stay together and will be a strong coalition to be reconed with. The females might go back to the original pride, but then it puts so much pressure on the older females to hunt more. Very intrigued story this, we can speculate but they will do what comes naturally to them.

I love the look of those sub-adult males with their half-grown manes. It is really very interesting what all of them (females and males) are going to do and whether the young males will form a strong coalition one day in the future.
I am looking forward to hearing more about them and I hope that they will still come and visit Londolozi from time to time so that you can follow their fate.

Thanks Nick, I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

Thanks Nick! You are right about trying to predict the future of lions! We think you are on the right track though. Maybe those five males will be the next Majingilane coalition!!

Interesting situation, thank you Nick. I suppose that the girls will follow in their mums’ footsteps and start a pride of their own. If they do, how would that pride be called? And five guys, wow! They are going to be a force to be reckoned with!! Really interested to see how this develops……………………

Hi Irene, if the young females do start their own pride the rangers on which that pride is dominant will be in charge of naming the pride. It will be interesting to see what they do next and what their potential new pride might be called.

Thanks for the information on the sub adults. It’s great to get news from them. I hope the girls/ daughters will form their own pride, this giving a new pride to one of the younger coalitions at the present time and their brothers can move on to new pastures. Less blood shed with the dominant males in the area. I know it’s a dream lol

Certainly sounds like the male’s might form their own coalition. A question…if the females return and mate with their fathers say, does that lead to a weaker lineage..or do they generally look elsewhere to mate ?

Hi Cally, good question. There have been a number times when females mate with their fathers. Thankfully, this doesn’t weaken their genetics too much. Only repeated inbreeding will result in a weak genetic line. In the case of the Birmingham males, it seems as though that by the time their daughters will be ready to mate, there might be new males for the young females to mate with, especially if the daughters move off to form a new pride.

Many thanks Nick for answering my question. Yes by the looks of the present number of males about, the ladies might b spoilt for choice in the near future 😊

Senior Digital Ranger

Nick – Thanks for the discussion. Fascinating! Is there an approximate maximum number that a pride can realistically support? Just curious.

Hi Paul! The maximum number of lions a pride can support depends on the availability of resources. There have been stories of lion prides larger that 30 lions but this is very rare. In this area, the prides will usually have less than 10 adult females and then a number of cubs and dominant males as well.

A nice blog Nick. Look forward to the updates of how this group are doing. A real guessing game for sure. Thanks for sharing.

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