So it seems for now that, after Bibi’s Pride went missing at the beginning of the ’16-’17 season, we have a new Pride of lions staking a claim to the area around Beho Beho. It is still early days and we will have to see if they will stick around, but the signs are promising. Up to now we have identified ten different lions in this group, three males, six females and one cub. There was another cub just a few weeks ago but we believe that this was the cub that was seen injured and abandoned at our airstrip.
It looks like the three males have come from the Black Panther Pride, the Pride we usually see around Lake Tagalala, and they are quite different from each other. Of the two biggest boys one has no mane at all and the other one only a little scruffy one, the third male is the smallest but he does have the nicest mane. As almost every night we can hear their roars throughout the night and due to the slightly tense interactions with the females I think these guys are establishing themselves as the Pride males of the area and the females. We will have to see though if this is the only group of females they serve as the males’ territories can encompass the territories of more than one group of females.
There are two very distinctive lionesses in the Pride, one is missing the last third of her tail and the other has an issue with her right eye. These two ladies will make identifying the Pride easy if they are in the group, we will work on getting identifying features on the rest of the females as the season moves on. For the females without these supped distinctive features we will have to look at scars and possibly the spot-pattern of the top row of whiskers.
So all of this is still a work in progress and the lions might still decide to find greener pastures elsewhere, but we hope they will stick around and give our guests a peek in to their lives. For now I have added some shots I have of some of the pride members and their identifying features.