In mid-2018 the Ntsevu Lion pride birthed a relatively large litter of cubs who were sired by the Birmingham Coalition. Fast forward almost four years where we see eleven of these growing sub-adult lions still roaming the plains of Londolozi. Of the eleven, five of these sub-adults (soon to be regarded as adult lionesses) are females and currently find themselves with a few of their mothers in the dominant Ntsevu Pride. However, in this blog I would like to focus on the six males of the Ntsevu “Breakaway” Pride and in which direction we think they are heading, where they find themselves, and the big question of “what’s next” for these brothers?
With the arrival of the ‘new’ Ndhzenga Coalition in November 2021, the eleven Ntsevu sub adults found themselves in a very unstable position. The lot of them were chased away from their mothers in the southeastern parts of Londolozi and managed to find a temporary safety in the southwestern parts of the reserve.
Over the past few months, as mentioned above, most of the sub-adult females have managed to re-join their mothers who have begun mating with the new gene pool. The young females are not yet ready to mate with the Ndzhenga Males, however, they have been seen in the company of the males already and it is only probably a matter of time before they do mate. As for the six young males, we still see them spread out amongst our grasslands in the vast southwest as well as venturing far north across the Sand River.
At this stage of these young male lions’ lives, we would refer to them as nomadic. With some physical growth and a level of maturity still needed in order to take over a pride for themselves. These six lions will “remain under the radar” for the next few months and try their best to avoid any serious conflict with dominant male lions. The nomadic phase of any male lion’s life is a very uncertain one.
The young lions begin to move around in search of any prey all the while avoiding any conflict with the large prides or dominant males. Being driven by hunger and the movement of their prey can lead them into deadly situations should they come into contact with the Ndzhenga Males. Interestingly with these six males, we are seeing them split up into groups of three. Why they are splitting up is unknown to us, it could be that they are being chased and split by other lions or they could be just shifting apart from each other due to the slight age difference between them.
The up and coming months are going to be extremely exciting for us at Londolozi with the viewing of the Ntsevu Sub-adult Males. If these lions remain at Londolozi for the next year or so I personally believe they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. This will require them to sneak beneath the radar for a little while longer, allowing them to grow in size, gain confidence and become more dominant. With each passing week, these six young males could eventually become a formidable dominant coalition of the future. The big question is, are all six of them going to re-join and slowly become a strong coalition together? Or are they going to recede and look for territory elsewhere?