The Story of One Lion Pride
Lions have appeared recently in Tembe Nature Reserve in Africa. In 2002, 4 lions were released here (2 females and 2 males) in order to attract tourists and reduce the number of artiodactyls. Lions are ideal predators for the development of tourism. They are not afraid of people and love to pose in front of cameras, they are easy to find, as they live not alone, like other cats, but as prides, leaving many traces and making a loud roar that spreads for kilometers. In addition, lions are useful for preserving the natural balance in the ecosystem of closed reserves, as many artiodactyls are killed, adjusting their numbers. Lions multiply very quickly, and in 10 years their number in Tembe has increased to 45 individuals that live in 3 prides.
Lions, like people, prefer to move along the roads. Thick thickets and forests of Tembe are not the most ideal place for hunting and fast movement of such large predators. On the sand, traces remain for a very long time, which helped a lot in their search every day. In the photo is a fresh trace of a large lion.Deep depressed and large footprints can be left by a large male, possibly the head of the southern pride, Mufasa:
The reserve, where lions live, is responsible for the safety of people and livestock in neighboring settlements. A healthy lion does not prey on humans, but cannot resist in front of a herd of cows or sheep (last year a young male fled from the reserve and killed 5 cows in a few hours). Therefore, key females and pride heads wear radio collars that allow them to control their movement.
WildlifeAct provides the Tembe Nature Reserve with monitoring and monitoring of lions, and our duties included daily monitoring of lions in the reserve. Twice a day, in the early morning before sunrise and at sunset, we drove around a particular sector of the reserve in search of lions. The searches were not always successful, and often we received only a signal from the collar. But still, in two weeks, I managed to photograph some interesting sketches from the life of lions in the Tembe nature reserve. In the photo below you can clearly see the collar of a lioness named Nyanga:
Most often it was possible to meet with the southern pride, the head of which was an old lion named Mufasa.On the territory of the southern pride there is not a drying out lake and a lot of prey, and with the onset of the dry season, skirmishes begin with the lions from the two northern prides, which, in search of prey, move south. Usually, the males left the pride, but Mufasa entered into a coalition with his son, Yestz, and together they patrolled the borders of their territory. Pride is located on the road and Mufasa is closely watching people. The photo clearly shows how lioness less lions:
To quickly identify the lions they put a brand. The letter "T" is the sign of Mufasa:
Usually, only lionesses hunt in the pride. Leo with their mane and dimensions hard to keep up with prey. But the lion is involved in the division of prey. On a misty morning, the pride of Mufasa caught a large male of the African antelope, Nyala, and Yetz, surrounded by lionesses, gnawing their prey:
Mimic lionesses sometimes discourages:
Having finished breakfast, Jetz disappears in the fog:
To notice a lion in the thick grass is very hard:
Lions are pretty calm about the presence of a number of cars. It was possible to go long for the lioness Dee, returning from the hunt:
Once managed to watch the lion school hunt.These young lionesses and lions - the cubs of Nyangi, tried to hunt buffaloes. Mother watched their efforts from the side.