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Karoo: Lions

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
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Addo Elephant
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Addo Elephant » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:31 pm

The lions will be released in the 2nd or 3rd week of November.

The gemsbok population is in excess of 1000 animals, red hartebeest between 900 and 1000 animals, eland about 380 animals just to name a few prey species available to lion.

Lions will probably not target springbok and smaller antelope as these are generally too small to justify expending the effort on hunting them considering the amount of food they will provide.
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by jonjon » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:03 pm

I think that introducing lions to the park has ruined the pleasure of many people, I and many othe people enjoy walking or hiking in the parks and the Karroo is one of the better parks to be in tune with nature without being incased in a metal box on wheels all the time. The Zebra Park has limited walks, and now the Karroo is also going that way if I had my way I would relocate the lions back to where they came from and let people enjoy the park instead. I will no doubt be shot down :sniper: for my writing this but I feel we humans should also be considered.

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Stoffel » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:11 pm

jonjon

You have my 100% support on your point of view. This past September was my 43rd visit to this park. It seems it was my last "free range" visit.
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by jonjon » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:27 pm

If we start a petition would there be many people signing it? so formies who would agree to remove the lions?

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by jonjon » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:52 pm

Well it looks like just the three of us so sad maybe us three must walk together so that we can enjoy the walk instead of hearing "we must keep moving"
But the main question is WHY do they want to introduce lions (not because they were there a hundred years ago) and what impact will they have on the mountain zebra's that were almost extinct and so I would have thought they would be classed as protected species. The more I think about it the more I think that the idea is cash related, "lets see the lions chow a mountain zebra" would bring in more tourists then "lets see the mountain zebra's". Very disappointed about the whole thing

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Joel » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:35 pm

I'm very surprised about your reaction. :shock: :? :hmz:
ALthough lion reintroduction will most likely generate more tourism income (some to be used for park expansion maybe? it seems that the park expansion budget has been considerably reduced recently : see last SANPARKS annual report), reintroducing lions & managing them as part of a meta-population would certainly play a key role towards restoring resilient karoo ecosystems.

Such a target should be acknowledged and praised. :clap: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Joël

PS: as far as I am aware (IUCN red list), the cape moutain zebra and the lion are both threatened species. :whistle:

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:47 pm

I think Imberbe answered it best:
SANParks has more than just a tourism mandate. They are the primary body in the country tasked with preserving our entire natural heritage. Tourism is but part of the mandate. They also have to see to the promotion and maintenance of the natural system. This they have done, and are doing by the increase in nature areas, and rehabilitation of previously degraded systems. In such a system they strive to rehabilitate the whole system, starting from the ground up, including plants, insects, mammal, etc. It would be a sad day when tourism becomes so strong, that it blocks this mandate. The predators play an important role in the whole ecology and functioning of such a natural system. They are truly the apex species, and their presence and well being is but the result of the whole system being in balance. As such, the predators such as lion should naturally be returned to as much of its previous range as possible, and to as many parks as is feasible.

Increasing the space available to predators also play an important role in the preservation of the species. Now, I have no illusions that the Karoo NP will hold enough lions to have a dramatic effect on the well being of the entire lions population of Southern Africa. But each extra reserve helps in increasing the already small footprint these magnificent animals have in their once huge distribution area. If I need to stay behind a fence to help in this ... so be it. :wink:
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Kapokbos » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:20 pm

DuQues, Joel and Imberbe's :clap: well said. Why do we humans always think about ourselves first and then only think about animals, birds, plants etc. National Parks and Reserves are primary for biodiversity conservation and to restore systems as it was before we humans turned everything upside down. The last lion in the western cape was shot and killed between 1842 and 1850 close to Prins Albert, and according to historic journals, lions were abundant in the Beaufort West area. Hence the place names Leeurivier, Gamka river etc. (Gamka meaning lion in the SAN language).

Lions are listed on the Threatened and Protected Species List (TOPS) and should receive more protection. Lions are being persecuted almost all over africa, now some forum members want to be selfish and petition against lion in the Karoo. Shame on you. :shock: Why dont we all rather support the initiative of SANParks to fullfill its mandate of protection our biomes and natural systems.

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by forestgump » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:30 pm

:clap: Think it's a great idea to get lion back in the Karoo.
There are still enough other nature reserves to walk in.
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:22 pm

Hi Jonjon, Mant and Stoffel

I felt like saying, ``Go to Hell!'' to you guys (tongue-in-cheeck of course!), but maybe somebody else will get upset too!
I can sympathize with your sentiments, yet am chuffed that the lions are back at last -- it lends that extra `wild' feeling to an already beautiful landscape -- you look over your shoulder every now and then, because there might just be a REAL LION stalking you...
By the way, I meant the introduction -- why don't you do a few trips to `Die Hel' for weekends -- the place is 10x as beautiful and you may not hear a car for a few days. As for walking, try a walk up the Gamka valley -- I flushed a caracal there not too long ago. Just be aware that the baboons rip tents open if they can see food inside...
Hope to meet you guys in the Karoo before long!
God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by jonjon » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:47 pm

I dont think the zebra will be too happy about the lions and have we enough mountain zebra now that they can be hunted. When I visit the park I hope to see the lions, I am just raising a point that not everyone is estatic about the lions, I am all for returning the parks to their former "glory" but how far do we go. Do we tear down the fences and let the thousands of buck migrate on their traditional routes. All I want to say is it is a shame that I cannot walk at my own pace with my wife and enjoy the beauty of the Karroo in a safe environment. Last words: Hunters are keen conservationists as long as they can shoot them.

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:43 am

Morning Jonjon and Manta

Thank you for not getting upset with me -- I can understand your how you feel!
Another point that underlines your concerns: Karoo NP will never be the same again!

It used to be a STOPOVER en route to Kruger, Johannesburg or Cape Town.
It will now become a DESTINATION once the first lion pics appear on the internet!
That means MORE visitors, MORE cars, which means LESS peace, LESS quiet.
Fortunately I suspect that the low density of wildlife will keep the noisier elements away, and only true wildlife lovers will stay for extended periods of time, so hopefully it will be a WIN-WIN situation for all of us.

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:44 am

Hi JonJon,

Thank you for your passionate plea -- you obviously feel strongly about it!

You said:
The other subject fo a new TR would be should we allow hunting by overseas visitors on animals that need culling?


That may be an interesting subject for debating about, but the solution is simple: Get lions/cheetahs/hyenas or any other natural predator to do the culling, so the ecosystem can stay relatively balanced without the animals developing a terrible fear for all vehicles and human beings...

I have had the privilege of sleeping over on ``hunting farms/game reserves'' like Lone Star Ranch near Chiredzi in Zimbabwe, Fairview Farm near Kestell in the Free State, and Tussen-die-Rivieren game reserve near Bethulie -- in every case I have been horrified at the abject terror animals show when you approach them in a vehicle! They run distances of up to 3 km (gemsbok, TdRivieren) at the mere sight of your car!

That is the LAST thing we need in our peaceful parks! Have you ever wondered why elephants in Kruger Park are so aggressive when compared to those in Addo? No culling in living memory in Addo! Yet, those Addo elephants were so aggressive that for many years no tourists were allowed in the park because they charged vehicles on sight!

Only when Dr Anthony Hall-Martin and his wife took the trouble to ``befriend'' them, did they become more relaxed, and now, you have baby elephants touch your vehicle with their trunks, and enthralled tourists spend the most exciting close-up personal observation of elephants at places like Hapoor waterhole.

Thanks once again, and try Die Hel for peace and quiet -- you will love it!

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by JBN » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:44 pm

We left today - it is a little chaotic as there is no reference to the introduction of lions anywhere, but they are being released tomorrow for sure! The chalet/restaurant site is fenced, but only one gate (so you can no longer walk through the fossil trail out into the open - you just hit the fence). I understand the interpretive centre is fenced but you must go in your car to get there! The bird hide is not fenced, but you can't get at it because of the gate. Our UK visitors were the last people left on the outside as they walked to the interpretive centre and when they walked back found the fence in operation and the gate closed on them! There was no notification of any kind, and reception did not know. Fortunately a passing motorist opened the gate (you can only do it by driving a car up to it!) We met two cyclists who had laboured up the Klipspringer Pass and I made a silly joke about "meals on wheels" and they had no idea what I was on about and had not been told lions were being released tomorrow!
All a bit sad we felt - but forget walking anywhere on your own - too late now!

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Munchkin » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:47 pm

Image

This pic not too clear but if you look at the pool fence, you will see an electric fence - running at an angle to the pool fence - basically this is the extent of the electric fencing used around the main area incorporating chalets / shop / reception / pool and fossil trail and also another similar enclosure around the campsite. In my opinion, not at all obtrusive and it's not very high either - so should not spoil the vista. Also, electrified gate (s) at entrance to main camp area (Chalets etc) and also at camping site.

The loss of freedom of movement might be an issue for some, but on a trip into Beaufort West Town a few days ago, we were stopped by a traffic official - routine checks - when he heard that we were staying at Karoo NP - he mentioned that he had never seen a lion and was so excited about the prospect of seeing this in his "backyard"! I certainly hope he gets to see the the "Karoo Lions"!
Last edited by Munchkin on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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