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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Leopard Kill!

The initial stalk and the suffocation

Whilst on the way to view Shangwa female leopard close to the river Hlab’nkunzi appeared on the road in front of us stalking impala. She patiently followed the small bachelor herd until she saw her chance and dashed of after them. When we caught up with her she had a male impala by the throat and slowly drained the life out of it!

The next night

The next evening we returned to the sighting to find that a hyena had taken the opportunity to claim a meal whilst the leopard  could only watch and pick up scraps.

Day 3

A day later we returned again to find thet Hlab’nkunzi had reclaimed her meal and was busy finishing it off. Good news for her as at that time she was still having to return to her tiny cub to suckle regularly and a lost kill is a lot of nutrition to go to waste in that situation.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A Death In The Family: One Year Later

PIC_0956It has been a whole year since the notorious Mapogo coalition were defeated in their last stronghold: the Western Sabi Sands.

The nomadic Selati male lions were responsible for the end of the six year rule of the old masters of the reserve. The old battle hardened males were no match for the younger, fitter lions and when the opportunity arose the new arrivals were able to depose them by killing one of the most iconic lions of the information age.

The male they killed was known by many names including SaTan and Mohawk, but the name most commonly associated with him was Mr.T.

I wrote a tribute to him at the time which you can read here

Mapogo Mr.T. Roaring

In the year since the death of this magnificent old lion the remaining two members of the once formidibale coalition were reduced to living the life of nomads themselves.

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Moving throughout the Sabi Sand reserve and even into the Kruger National Park the two brothers somehow managed to avoid major conflict with other males for the first few months. There were run-ins with another pair of males known as the Kruger males eventually, one of these confrontations ended with reports of the older male, known as Makulu, being killed in the fight.

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After those reports the western sector received a visit from the other brother, known as Pretty Boy, who nearly ran afoul of the Selati males when he came to investigate the buffalo herd. A lone Selati male had taken down a buffalo calf and the two rivals had a long staring match before the old Mapogo ran off.

Not long after this Makulu staged a return from the dead and both old males were reunited, even causing headlines when the pair walked into the Kruger Park through the Paul Kruger entrance gate one morning!

In October 2012 the old boys again returned to the Western sector, following the buffalo herd.

Video highlights featuring the return of the Mapogo

At this time Pretty Boy looked painfully thin, without a meal soon he would not last much longer. Good news soon filtered through when the two were seen feeding on a buffalo across on Londolozi.

Mapogo Male Lion “Pretty Boy” Roaring

When the pair left the kill the news of them started to dry up. The once prolific information flow all but disappeared, had the boys moved into the Kruger to live out their final days?

Mapogo male lion “Makulu” Roaring

Finally a snippet of info filtered through from MalaMala in early January 2013 – a lone male had been seen in the northern part of their property that was identified as Makulu. It seems that the oldest member of the coalition was the one to have lasted the longest. He may still be alive now, hiding out in the Kruger, perhaps one day he will be seen again.

The legacy of the Mapogo lives on in the lionesses of the Othawa and Tsalala prides, these two prides are now dominated by the two coalitions (Majingalanes –Tsalala and Selati – Othawa) that defeated the Mapogo so strong genes will be passed on to the next generation!

Graphic content: Lions Kill Buffalo

Not one for sensitive viewers!

Three of the Selati male lion coalition destroy a big buffalo bull…

Friday, 15 March 2013

Battle At Idube Hits One Million Views!

This awesome capture of the Othawa pride of lions fighting a herd of buffalo for control of a small calf at Idube’s Marula Dam has been featured on television worldwide and now has over a million views on YouTube.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Leopard Vs Warthog

The Maxabeni 3:3 young male leopard takes on a warthog sow as big as himself. The leopard puts his own life on the line for the sake of a kill. Both animals become locked in mortal combat as each tries to ensure their own survival. Warthogs have been known to kill leopards in situations such as this and big male leopards will often kill bigger warthogs than this!