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 Post subject: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:05 pm 
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Guru
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Two male lions from the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park were released into the Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West recently, bringing the total number of feline predators now in the Park to nine.

Niklaas (named after former Kgalagadi Park Manager, and now Karoo National Park Manager Nico van der Walt) and Witwarm (derived from Nico’s son, Hano’s nickname from when they lived in the Kgalagadi) were released from a lion enclosure in the eastern section of the Park. Park Management predicts that they will most likely develop their own fixed territories within the Park and defend these territories from the other resident males.

In 2010 a small founder population of lion was introduced into Karoo from Addo Elephant National Park outside Port Elizabeth. The group was originally all from Kgalagadi or offspring from the original group of Kgalagadi lions that were introduced to Addo in 2003 . They have settled very well into the Karoo National Park and two cubs were born in November last year.

The decision was made to introduce the two three-year-old male lions into the Karoo to prevent inbreeding as a result of an island effect (no migration of other lion individuals into or out of the population), and to increase genetic diversity in the Park. The two have been housed in a temporary enclosure since their arrival in November to adapt and acclimatise to their new environment.

Van der Walt says, “The introduction of predators into Karoo National Park forms part of attempts to restore the ecological processes in the Park, specifically to re-establish the process of predation. This will help to control herbivore numbers naturally and decrease the need for capturing and culling, which is in line with SANParks’ ‘minimum interference’ philosophy”.

In protected areas with no large predators, herbivore numbers can soar to unnaturally high densities that could in return be detrimental to sensitive ecosystems like the Karoo. The lion fulfill their ecological role by removing older and weaker animals from the system and by impacting on the herbivore population size in the Karoo National Park.

It is envisaged that the two sub-adult males will hopefully take over the role of dominant males at a later stage, when the two older males reach their “retiring age” and lose their control over the pride.

Kgalagadi lion are known for their impressive dark brown manes and enhance the tourism product offered. “Introducing more lion into the Park has an economic spinoff as it improves the ecotourism value of the area, as large carnivores are charismatic species which people like to see, or even merely to know are present in an area,” says van der Walt.

(Pics to follow)

Fayroush Ludick
Communications Manager - Frontier Region


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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Thank you for the update :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:15 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Would love to see the pics.

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:07 pm 
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pack the camera gear and go south :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Very cool! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:49 am 
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Still no :cam: ..... :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:53 am 
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I'm heading there 26-28 July 2013 :dance: and will see if I can get any :cam: of the lions.....

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:06 am 
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Wonderful, holding thumbs that you get to see them and get us some photos GlynB. :cool:


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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:28 am 
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The two new males are back in their boma as they were naughty shortly after release by breaking out of the park. Oh well, that was the situation during May when we were in the park for two weeks. We saw the one in the boma - although very far from the tourist road (Potlekkertjie Loop). I don't know if management decided that they first have to attend a course in good behaviour before they can be released again. I just asked myself how trustworthy is the electrified fence around the park (and also around the camp) if they succeeded in breaking out.

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:03 pm 
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Now you are making me nervous! :big_eyes:

I wonder if SANParks can comment :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:57 am 
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The two were released just over a month ago and both are doing fine. The one was spotted yesterday along the Lammertjiesleegte loop, while the other one moved into the western section of the Park and linked up with one of the older lionesses.

The one male made a kill a few weeks ago next to the rest camp, opposite chalet no 23 and did not attempt to challenge the electric fence line around the rest camp. It seems as if they are settling down after their first “escape”. We will never know what triggered their previous escape but it may have something to do with the presence of the two dominant males that forced them into the eastern section of the Park and they tried to escape from the two older males.

It seems now as if each one of them chose an unoccupied section of the Park with fewer pressure from the other two dominant males.

I'm struggling to upload pics here, hence the unavailability thereof. My apologies. As soon as I've found the problem, you'll have some.

Regards,
Fayroush Ludick - Regional Communications Manager


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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback FrontierPR :thumbs_up:

After reading the latest news broadcast about the snow in the park, and the fact that we will be there in the next 3 weeks, how are the lions coping with the snowy conditions? :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:51 pm 
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The Park only had very light snow on the upper mountains and the winter so far is not as extreme as the previous winter. It doesn’t look as if the cold weather is bothering them at all. They are definitely more active in winter than in summer and are also catching more prey.


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 Post subject: Re: Two new male lions introduced to Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:24 pm 
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Oh Boy.....Really looking forward to the trip now :dance: :dance:

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