What a week it’s been!! Many highlights to look back on, and some very sad news too for the Southern Pride. We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of “A Week in the Bush”…
Maxabeni is one amazing leopard! At the end of last week he managed to secure a few meals for himself and was seen enjoying the left overs of his warthog piglet kill.
Maxabeni’s daughter, the young and beautiful Ntsumi female managed to capture a juvenile Scrub Hare and then hoisted it up a tree while consuming it as the sun started to set.
Maxabeni’s slightly older daughter, the Kigelia female was found resting in a riverbed before making her way across an open area with some magnificent storm clouds in the background.
Elephant sightings have been plentiful again this week! Whilst this elephant chose to chase a buffalo around, another herd tucked in to some ripe Marula fruits which had fallen to the base of some Marula trees. Both sightings equally special and enjoyable!
Franscois and his guests enjoyed another wonderful sighting of a big tusker in the morning rain!
General sightings have been spectacular again this week! With the reserve receiving some more very welcome rainfall, the animals seem to be flourishing!
We spent the best part of the week watching the Southern Pride rest; get chased by elephants; play around; and hunt. They got close a few times during hunts, but unfortunately for them, were unsuccessful.
On Sunday we again located the pride and watched them as they followed a huge herd of buffalo around. Surely their luck would change and they would secure themselves a much-needed meal for the 11-strong pride.
But this was not to be.
The Southern Pride, unknown to them, were hunting the same herd of buffalo as the two young Avoca males.
The hunt was on and the Avoca males found themselves amongst the herd of buffalo…
Chaos broke out once the males caught sight of the Southern Pride and their focus immediately shifted from the hunt to the chase! The males set off after the Southern Pride’s cubs and the mother of the youngest cubs was split from her pride as she ran to protect the cubs. One of the males got hold of this female, the second youngest adult female, and killed her.
Immediately after killing the adult female, the two males were roaring and their scent marking intensified – far more than what we have seen in recent times. With no other male lions in the area, we believe that this is most likely a sign of them now claiming the territory as their own.
Going forward, they will probably have many more run ins with the Southern Pride and this could pose some danger to the cubs, especially the male cubs.
The Southern Pride have done extremely well to raise their 6 remaining cubs as well as they have without the protection of the Charleston males. We can speculate about how different things could have been had the Charleston males never left the pride, but we cannot change what happened. The only thing we know for sure is that nothing in the wild can be predicted and we can now only sit back and see how this all unfolds.
Until next time…