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Lion identification: Nossob North and others

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Johan van Rensburg
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Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:59 pm

Great stuff, michele nel! Your pix are ideal to start an identity kit for "Mannie"!

You may be aware of the following information, but it has not been stated anywhere in the run-up to this "project": Identifying individuals is not as easy as it seems, even if you have clear photographs of the subjects. The most reliable way to ID individual lions is to look at their whisker patterns. Each lion is born with a particular pattern of whisker spots which never changes. Where each whisker comes out through the facial hair, a little black spot is formed. Thus, each lion has a number of black spots on each side of its muzzle that is arranged in a particular fashion or pattern. This so-called whisker pattern is as unique for each and every lion as is fingerprints in humans and can be used conclusively to identify individuals. The only drawback is that one has to obtain a close pix of both sides and front of the face to confirm the pattern.

Depending on characteristics to identify individual Lions like easily recognizable scars on their bodies or faces can be misleading. One must remember that these scars often heal in a short period of time and thus leave one with a warped identity card if scars alone are used as the main identity markers.

I could not find examples of the identity cards used by scientists to further elaborate on the system. Suffice to say that if you want a meaningful result, this is the only way to ensure that. You will need to find some guidance regarding the correct way to document these identification features.

Anyhow, this "mug shot" is a great start.
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Unread post by Caracal » Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:56 pm

Thanks for all the interesting info Johan. I realise that scars come and go ...but as you say it is a start. We can in the future concentrate more on whisker patterns. I think when we get to the more recent sightings it could be more interesting. For instance I saw a pair if lions at Kij Kij in May and I would find it very interesting to know where they went to next...
So ..yes it is just a start...we can get better at this and the most important factor of all is that we will have to go to KTP again and again and again to check on the whereabouts of our lions.

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Nossob - North - Lion Identification

Unread post by kalahari mick » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:53 pm

The lion Michelle has named Mannie is usually with his partner, who has a slightly blonder mane, and they seem to keep to the area around Kwang. I have not seen them with any females. After comparing the nose patterns on a lion that I named Kwang, because of the area I first saw him, with your pics Michelle, I am convinced that they are one and the same. His partner I called Kalahari. I believe that nose patterns are also a means of identifying lions, as well as whisker patterns Perhaps this could be confirmed by an expert.
I have pics which show his nose patterns very clearly, and if I knew how, I would add them in. so if there is some kind person out there please send me some instructions on how to do it

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Kgalagadi lion identification: Kij Kij

Unread post by Caracal » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:37 pm

I am going to call these two lions Bush and Baptist ( in the meantime)

We saw these lions on the 9 June at 9h30 in the morning. They were walking towards Kij Kij and after having a drink they walked halfway up the dune and got comfortable...probably for the rest of the day.

Bush
Image
Image
He has a distinct scar on the side of his face above his mouth as well as a scar near his right eye

Baptist
Image
Not a very good photo at all but this lion has a definite nick in his left ear.
We also saw these two lions the day before approximately halfway between Rooiputs and Leeudril. That means that they had walked 20km through the night to Kij Kij.
These lions were also seen by Marelm on the May 19.....also at KIj Kij.
Last edited by Dotty on Fri May 22, 2009 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Photos side by side

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Unread post by Jan Kriel » Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:46 pm

Michele Nel,

You unfortunately don't say how many lions you have seen when the pictures were taken. The Rooiputs pride consist of 13 Lions (4 Months ago), two of which was two young males (About 2,5 Years old); ready to leave the pride. The dominant males are two huge black maned males and would not tolerate these lions back in their territory.If you have seen these young males with the rest of the pride in means that they couldn't get food on their own and would join the females to maybe see if they could hunt something.

Please give some more detail about the sighting.
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Unread post by Caracal » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:06 pm

Hi Jan
This sighting only consisted of these two lions....and we saw the same two the day before,also by themselves.

There was a lot of lion activity between Rooiputs and Kij Kij over these two days ( 8 and 9 June ) but I was really only able to get photos of these two..
I do not know whether you have read my trip report but there you will find out more about the lion activity. trip report
Thanks for your comments

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Unread post by Jan Kriel » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:13 pm

M.N.

Ok then it is for sure the two young males of the Rooiputs pride and the fact that you have mentioned there were a lot of lion activity almost confirms the fact that these two have hard times in finding food and would then therefore follow the pride they have come from hoping they could get some food (That is then only when the two dominant males are not in the area).

This pride walks all the way from Melkvlei to the Aoub River and then frequently you will hear or see them at Twee Rivieren.
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Unread post by Caracal » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:20 pm

This pride walks all the way from Melkvlei to the Aoub River

That is amazing ....thanks for the info

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Ousus

Unread post by Kingfisha » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:11 pm

This is a very exciting topic! I am sure you have all heard of OUSUS. She is/was (don't know if she is still alive) a female lioness who frequented the Bedinkt waterhole in KTP.

Piet Heymans wrote a book about her "Ousus van die Kalahari" and she was identified by her whiskers. I am not sure, but it was something dot-dot-space-dot.
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I cannot find a lot on internet...I am sure the KTP staff will know much more about OUSUS!

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Unread post by wanderw » Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:44 am

We saw Freek and Jan at the Nossob waterhole in March this year - drinking at night. We chatted to a guy the next day who identified them as Fand J. They had been seen around Nossob for a few days - good sightings apparently (8 to 10 march). If anybody on the forum has pics of the lions at Nossob around this time, please post pics. It will be very interesting to compare them to Michele's pics.

I think Ousus was last seen in 2004. Does anybody know? We saw her at Cubitje Quap in July 2003. She looked old and was with two other lionesses with 3 cubs.

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Nossob North, Lion Identification

Unread post by kalahari mick » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:25 pm

I would be curious to know if any consus has been arrived at as to the naming of the Lion Mannie/Kwang. I am convinced that they are one and the same.

In April 05, just after the Big Rain, (we were the last vehicle in to Nossob, and were towing our caravan through half a meter plus of water for a large part of the way) we picked up lion spoor Nossob side of Maries Draai and followed it south until they moved off the road just beyond Maries Draai. the next day, on our way to Dikbaardskolk, we picked it up again, and once again followed until we came across two magnificent males lying next to the road. I was told that they were Jan and Freek. I did not see them again until Feb 06, when I came across them again just north of Maries Draai with a couple of females. I have not seen them since. I will, as soon as possible post pics of them taken in April 05,

As the lions being named are Kalahari Lions, I feel that the names should have a Kalahari flavour, and reflect their origin.
Any comments?

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Unread post by Caracal » Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:53 pm

I am not sure whether my lion is the same as Kwang and Kalahari. Let's leave my lion out of the equation and follow Kwang and Kalahari instead...has anybody else got any other photos. What about Jan and Freek any photos out there or sightings???

By the way Kalahari Mick I was also in Kgalagadi during April 2005 I also saw 2 lions . I don't want to say too much though because I am busy on the story of the Kalalahri Girls !!!!

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Unread post by Caracal » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:08 pm

Hi jb72
I have looked at other photos that I took that are not very good but I think maybe that these are the same two. I am going to look through the video as well to see what i can come up with. You seemed to have got better photos of the one with raggedy ears whereas I seemed to have faired better with his brother. As I mentioned earlier I saw these two the day before as well and then I studied them more with the bins because they were far away...I distinctly remember the raggedy ears! Methinks they are the same two...but not sure what the people in the know would say!
Thanks for photos....waiting in anticipation for the other photos

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Unread post by timbo » Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:39 am

I can most certainally say that the first two unidentified lions photos are of bush. Still busy looking at baptist.
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Unread post by heymans » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:29 pm

Die leeumannetjie wat u noord van Nossob gesien het is Freek.Een van Ousus se eerste seuns wat sy grootgemaak het.Die ander een is Jan-die kleiner een van die twee broers.Hulle gebied het gestrek van Cubitje Quab tot Kousant.Die eerste foto is van die dier se regter kant.Die dot,spasie,dot van die boonste ry snorre met die oor met geen kepies is Freek.Jan se regteroor het paar kepies asook linker oor.
Freek is gewoonlik die een wat eerste inisiatief neem,behalwe skynbaar by paring toe ek Jan gekry het wat paar en vir Freek op 'n afstand hou.
Hulle word binnekort 7jr oud en dit kan verwag word dat hulle paaie gaan skei.
April 2004 het Ousus hulle in hul geboorte gebied gelos en vertrek na 'n ander ngebied in Botswana.Sy is sedertdien wat ek van weet twee keer gesien volgens fotos van toeriste.Die laaste Okt 2006 in die duine Botswanakant op pad na Mabuasehube.
Daar is ook 'n paar mannetjies wat saam is suid van Nossob en word dikwels verwar met F&J Piet Heymans


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