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Lions - Panthera Leo.

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wildtuinman
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:45 am

Exactly as W@H mentioned. Remember people that you have to be @ the right place @ the right time. I have seen lions everytime on my last 5 trips.

The Park is humangously big. Tourist roads cover only about 5% of the Park in total. Lions aren't gonna lie next to every road for easy viewing. Let me tell you one thing and ask KNPSM. Fly over Kruger and you will be absolutely amazed about the vast quantity of animals you will see in Kruger.

Relax children. There are planty of lions still around. Even if they do have TB, it will take still a long time for them to become critically ill.
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Unread postby bucky » Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:34 am

The sweni pride is supposed to be made up of close to 50 individuals , however they are rarely in 1 big group like this .
The only time I think I may have seen part of this pride was when we saw 8 male lions together (short manes still ) at the sweni waterhole , this was about 5 years ago.

I still rate we used to see more lions , and bigger prides 10 or more years ago .
On 1 fine morning we saw 2 prides of lions , 1 of 18 and the other of 16 on the road from satara to orpen in the late 80's

Maybe they are just getting sick of the higher volumes of cars and dont hang about the roads anymore :( , or else maybe my eyes are not as sharp as they used to be , but I am going to battle to top the best lion trip I had in 1996 when we saw the grand total of 96 lions (Yup , 4 short of a century) for a week long stay at tamboti and lower sabie camps.

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Unread postby Snoobab » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:31 am

I gonna stick my neck out here and if any of you disagree let me know. Kruger relies on tourist, simple as that. Tourists are attracted to the park for a number of reasons but a big draw card is the Big Five. Lions being part of the Big Five are a very big attraction.
If there is (and i'm not saying there is) a serious threat by TB on the lions and there numbers are dropping at an alarming rate, I believe that everyone in Kruger would be giving it their full attention and doing their best to find a solution. At the same time I do not believe they would make public anouncements of how bad the situation is. This would have a negative effect on tourism and create a snowball effect with drop in tourist = drop in income therefore less money to fight the problem etc.
Unless you are well connected to staff at Kruger I don't think you will find these type of stats and I don't hold anything against Kruger for working like this. People and the press often blow things out of proportion so rather give them the bare minimum and address the problem themselves without causing alarm.

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Unread postby wildjohn » Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:56 am

Apparently from what I have gleaned recently is that the BTB problem is less severe than what the media has made it out to be.
Lions succumb readily when approaching old age, though I think there is a shorter longevity, say 15 - 10 yrs when infected, which is near to when they invariably die.
They are studying the effects of that now and I will get more info when I'm there next week.
Many African lion populations have Tb in the system, and the lions still persist, though not without ailment, ie. Hluhluwe-Umf, and Tanzanian parks.

As wtm pointed out, the size of Kruger and frequency of tourist visits and lion sightings seen is not a good gauge to work on - one isn't there every day doing drives so one cannot get a good representation of reality.
Also it is a low density species (relative to other mammals, like herbivores), for example, one would notice a decline in impala, if one all of a sudden saw 50 % less on consecutive trips and covering the same areas.
If one saw 50 % less lion, that could be 3 and not 6 ?, or 1 and not 2, or 8 vs 16 ? - these differences could be ascribed to the temporary fission of a lion pride, the spatial geometry of the positions of individuals in prides (ie. some not seen), inter alia - thus for carnivores, and other rare species, chance encounters are the norm, and trends in there numbers seen can only be valid with very large samples & some standardised approaches to represent this etc.
Those lion censuses are not that accurate as they estimate 1500 - 2000 every year - I would hazard a guess that the lion numbers could have gone down (that's why they say 1500 I think and not 2000?), but am not sure - even the researchers there have no complete answer.
As for climate change, there are declines predicted for a lot of mammals in that area - with lots of drying out on sub-continent, but not sure. I think that will take time to manifest, but it cannot be ruled out.

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Unread postby madach » Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:01 am

The way to tell if it is the same lion is by comparing whisker spot patterns. All lions (and leopards for that matter) have a unique whisker spot pattern. More specifically, the number and relative position of whisker spots on the top row are used to identify individuals. If you have closeups of the two lion sightings then you can try to compare the spot patterns to see if the pictures show the same lion.

I doubt if these pictures are of the same lion though. The face of the second lion to me looks different from the first one.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:28 am

Hello everyone,

I think many people have a misunderstanding about Kruger lions in general. Very few Kruger lions look like the ones you will see in zoo's and other places where they get fed every day and so forth.

I have to tell you that southern Kruger lions are huge! A lion of 200kg's is a huge piece of meat. These animals don't feed daily. They travel thru thorn bush and hornbills knows what else which spoils their makeup and looks a bit and giving them even a more rugged look than what they really deserve.

TB will only start to affect the older animals. It takes quite a long time for TB to bring a lion down.

Males need females to help them hunt. When they are bachelors looking for a new pride to take over they will in general look like W@H on a saturday morning after a failure of a Bulls onslaught on a friday night @ loftus.

Just for interest sake, the town Hectorspruit, bordering Kruger in the south, holds the record lion shot. 320kg's if not mistaken. That's even bigger than life itself! :shock:

As for the lions in the pic. I cannot say for sure whether or not they are the same okes. But to me they both look in a good enough lion condition.
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Unread postby Penny » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:22 am

I know that the Croc bridge pride specifically are collared for TB research. We also saw a programme some time back on the lions that escaped from Kruger - some of them were getting through the fence into Marloth Park. A number of workers walking to their places of employment were attacked by lion and I think that I am right in my memory that some of them were branded to identify them in view. I don't think these would be the same lions but maybe someone can answer our questions from Sanparks. It would be interesting to know!
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Unread postby Penny » Sun May 07, 2006 7:20 am

Indeed we do 12 to 14 years ago - we believe them to have been the remnants of the huge pride on which the book Nightstalk was based and their territory was South of Mavumbye suiping down to the S100 and as far East as the Gudzani Road. I can vividly remember one morning in October seeing 19 of them just after the suiping and then furthe down on the Gudzani Road there were 28 on a giraffe kill that was right across the road. That year we called that area the killing fields as there was not a single waterhole that did not have a resident pride of lion and most of the kills were buffalo weakened by the drought. Sad but interestesting nevertheless!
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Biyamiti #4 - Lion Marking Place

Unread postby Stephen » Tue May 09, 2006 12:21 pm

:D Greetings from the bush

What animal was responsible for this and what action took place here?

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Stephen wrote::D
Greetings from the bush

– Yes indeed it is a lion that marked the area. This was done by one of the Bume pride males.

“Both lions and lionesses signal their pride’s occupation of an area by scent marking with urine and faeces and by roaring. The urine’s strong, tomcat smell hangs in the air of places heavily used by lions. Roars can carry for a good 8 km and are also used to contact straying members of the pride.” Wild Ways by Peter Apps (1992). Southern Book Publishers, Halfway House

To the upper left of the picture can the wetness of the urine still be detected. The lion also managed to get his urine scent onto his feet by scraping in the sand and will now spread a strong scent of himself through his territory as well. Not quite my way of posting, but it works for them.
Last edited by Stephen on Tue May 09, 2006 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby bucky » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:03 pm

Oh , and before I forget , the ones at gezantfumbi dam can also be found up in the trees :shock: .
My special "polits" .

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Unread postby bucky » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:37 pm

Some of the Talamati pride .
There where about 14 last time I was there .

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Unread postby bucky » Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:26 am

Pics of the msemani pride .
This was a few years ago , and I had just got my 70-300 zoom , so everything got taken at full zoom .
Over exposed these also , You live and learn :lol:

There are 15 Lions in these snaps .
Just around the corner where 3 big males , the owners of this tidy little harem .
I am sure the young males in this snap where soon to be booted out .

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Re: Lion

Unread postby rooks » Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:46 pm

paul wrote:HI I KNOW THIS SOUNDS CLICHE BUT WHERE ARE ALL THE LIONS,BEEN TO THE PARK 7 TIMES THIS YEAR AND HAVE SEEN NO LION.PLEASE DONT GET ME WRONG I LOVE ALL THE OTHER ASPECTS OF KRUGER BUT IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE LION EVERY NOW AND AGAIN.ANY HINTS OR TIPS ON LOCATIONS ETC.GREAT SITE.KRUGER IS GREAT!!!


I have driven some 1800 kms in the Kruger quite recently. For the first 1000 I also saw no lions (in the northern sections). During my last visit we saw lions on 4 separate occasions. If you think about it there are about 3000 kms of road in the Park and 2000 lions. The roads make up a tiny fraction of the area of the park so on the simple basis of averages seeing a lion is not a common event. 7 visits and no lions seems a bit rough though ....

If you want to increase your chances then based upon published Kruger ranger sightings of lions (and the other Big 4) throughout 2005 take a look at these distribution maps I've made here ... http://www.thekruger.com/lion-distribution.htm

Hope this helps ... my 4 sightings recently were all in the Satara region ... the place where lion distribution is most dense as you can see from the maps.

From the reading I've done Lion prides in the Kruger have home ranges between about 50 sq km in Satara type bushveld/savanha and 200 sq kms in the north and an average pride would be about 10 animals.

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Unread postby Penny » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:24 pm

To the best of my knowledge the collared lions in the Southern end of the Park are all part of the ongoing research into Bovine TB. We have seen these lion with the collars for the last 6 years or so. There is more than one lioness with a collar.
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Unread postby Elsa » Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:43 am

Two years ago on the CB/LSabie road, we saw a pride of 8 lionesses, 4 or 5 of whom were collared. They walked down the road towards us and then walked on each side of our car, stopping to give the tyres a thorough sniffing as we have just driven past a big herd of Buffalo, who had obviously been standing in the road for some time. :roll:
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