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 Post subject: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:27 pm 
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On the 25th of December 2009 we found these three lionesses on the S90 about 1 kilometer from Balule camp. Not a great sighting you would want on espesially christmas day. Obviousely they have TB.

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I do not think the last lioness made it to 2010.

What I would like to know, why aren't the lions put out, espesially those that are near the condition of what the last lioness already is in? Don't shoot them, inject them, but take them out of this painful situation! It will probably help to not spread the disease in these last months. I really believe human intervention are needed here!

Then another question: I heard that the lions are busy building up an immune system against TB. Could anybody verify this to be true? It really would be great news if that is the case.

And then a last question: I also heard that down at Croc Bridge there is a pride of twelve lions, all of them having TB and in no great shape. Is it true?


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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:01 pm 
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Hi EO, it might be some other ailment, the bovine TB at this stage seems to be OK in Kruger. Lets see if somebody can give some feedback. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:22 pm 
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During a discussion with the Head of Conservation Service, Kruger National Park, held at the end of August 2009, Dr. Venter confirmed that both Buffalo and Lions are developing antibodies against TB infection which is making them resistant.
He mentioned that the incidence of Bovine TB amongst Buffalo had reduced in the area south of the Sabie River from 70% to 30%.
He also mentioned that seeing the sick Lions is disturbing but the TB is part of natures process of natural selection and is therefore not interfered with.
Of course if the Lions or Buffalo had been threatened with extinction the reaction would have been different and the Conservation and Veterinerian Staff would have embarked on a large destruction process to destroy the sick animals and to inoculate those unaffected.

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:37 pm 
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Thanx gmls... it gives one some peace of mind to know the animals are winning against the disease. Maybe in ten years time we won't have such heartbreaking sightings at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Hi EO,

We saw them first on a night drive next to the road right near the Orpen camp.
We again saw them the following morning very earlier looking extremely weak. We did not see them thereafter, but the ranger who had taken us on the drive confirmed that they had died. Strangely enough, they were not killed by predators.

The people on the night drive were pleading with the ranger to save them, and get them vetinary care, but he said that this would only be allowed if they had been an endangearged species.

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:11 pm 
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Eagle Owl wrote:
Imberbe wrote:
Also remember that a lions condition can at a certain critical stage quickly deteriorate. It is often the case with TB that lion will have it for years, before showing signs of deterioration. Then something flips, and the disease takes over dramatically.



That I have also heard. They are still able to produce 2 or 3 generations of cubs in their life spam living with TB and that is why they also are not taken out once there is proof of being affected. But being as far as the last lioness is concerned, on her last legs, I still can not see how it will affect nature if she is being taken out quicker.



Yes, but what I mean by that, is that their condition can deteriorate from still being "viable" to critical or dead, within a short space of time. And as lions are not monitored on a regular basis, many will die without coming to the rangers attention.

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Eagle Owl, yes these photos are upsetting! :(
We saw this lion on the H10 during January 2009:

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:20 pm 
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It is truly sad to see such a magnificent and proud animal in such a state! :( It grabs you by the heart.

One must remember that not all sick lion, or lion looking as if they are going to die, are due to TB. There are other reasons too, sometimes simply old age.

I also agree with the principle of minimum interference in nature. The more one meddles, the more things become unnatural, and it is difficult to impossible to predict the results of that. Some would argue that even the KNP is no longer a natural system, because it has boundaries. That is true, and in a sense that necessitates management of the system. But once you start micro management, it becomes truly unnatural. I would also argue that micro management in such a huge system is impossible and impractical and absolutely undesirable.

A dying lion is part of the natural system, even if it upsets our sensibilities. Why should a dying lion be treated differently than a dying Impala? Both are equal parts of the system, and their deaths will contribute in a similar way to the continuation and health of the system.

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:40 pm 
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this is extremely disturbing to see, but I hear what some of you say, nature must take its course, but this is a reserve, can't human intevention take place in such a situation.? :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:06 am 
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I saw this poor guy near Satara, as you can see he has a collar so obviously they were keeping an eye on him.

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:34 am 
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What I have noticed is the difference between the KNP Lions when compared to the KTP Lions, the KTP Lions have beautiful sleek, smooth coats, while the KNP Lions seem to be "mangled", is this due to the TB virus? or the kind of habitat that they live in? :huh:

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:23 am 
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Habitat and social situation both have a major role in this.

Because the Kgalagadi has less bush (with its associated thorns, branches etc.) and more open spaces than KNP, superficial injuries during hunting and just plain everyday existence is less likely and thus less common.

The second factor, in especially males, is the lower population numbers, which means less contact and less conflict with other lions. This means less opportunity for scars and wounds.

Advanced TB will also start to affect the general health and thus the general "look" of a lion.

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:04 am 
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Lion are social animals, there are a lot of contact between members of the same pride. Like ordinary human TB, bovine TB can also spread through the air by coughing or directly by contact with mucus from an infected lion.

Transmission from prey species is often by eating infected tissue such as the lungs. But TB can even be spread there where one antelope browses on leaves that has been recently browsed on by an infected antelope.

The concentration of TB in the South is because that is the area where it entered the park from infected cattle. It took time to travel up North as animals and especially the types usually infected by TB do not regularly travel the length of the park, but tend to keep to a certain area. So it was a gradual spreading process. But at this stage it has reached the North, though the levels of infection is not as high as in the South.

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:08 pm 
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Thanks Imberbe.

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 Post subject: Re: Lions with TB - Not for sensitive viewers
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:47 pm 
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This lioness was heavily affected by TB but that did not stop her from having a go at a buffalo on the H7 in what came to be known as " Battle on Orpen road ".

Despite being in a shockingly poor condition the endurance and determination with which she launched a single handed attack on the buffalo was amazing.

Perhaps it comes with the knowledge that if it is unable to feed itself substantially it is in real danger of being fodder for scavengers given its compromised immune system. Realy sad to see them in such a state though :(

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