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Karoo: Lions

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

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:10 pm

Here are some photos - not very good quality, but you can see the cubs at the waterhole near the main reception building. The carcass was a few metres away
Stoffel wrote:Getting too dark now to see anything further. But until a few minutes ago we were sitting on our stoep (chalet no. 22), watching the two female lions and 3 of the cubs (our neighbours saw the fourth one, but not us) eating on a zebra carcass about 400 metres away from us


Image

jonjon wrote:I think it was a decision to attract tourists only.

Lions historically occurred in this area and needed to be introduced to complete the ecosystem and ensure a more natural balance. Lions numbers will be managed to ensure that they don't have a detrimental effect on other species.
Megan Taplin
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Stoffel
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Stoffel » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:51 am

Micetta

Yes, you are absolutely correct - I was quite outspoken about the release of lions in Karoo. I lifted my views on the matter, but now it (the release) is done and I have to live with it. Since 1990 I have been a very regular visitor to the park and fell in love with the place. Lions or no lions will surely not prevent me from staying a regular visitor and keep on loving this wonderful park. I have built up relations with a lot of the personnel an some of them is not really excited about the release of the lions.

But now that the lions are there I will surely be on the lookout for them every visit (I hope to be back in mid-January). Sunday, 5 Dec was my first visit since the release and I was very lucky and happy to see the two females and three of the cubs (the fourth cub was there, but we did not see it).

Thursday night (9 Dec) we were back in the park (after a short visit to Mokala) and hoped to see lions (especially the males) again - but no luck. But I do believe we actually got more than we hoped for, namely a black rhino. I'll still do separate reports on the two nights in Karoo and the two nights in Mokala.
Last edited by Stoffel on Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Chris Boucher
26 Apr - 1 May Karoo
6 - 12 May - Punda Maria
13 - 18 May - Shingwedzi
19 - 25 May - Tsendze
26 - 28 May - Letaba
29 - 31 May - Balule
1 - 4 June - Maroela
5 - 7 June - Crocodile Bridge
8 - 12 June - Lower Sabie
16 - 19 June - Addo

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Elephant's Eye » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:10 pm

On the 25th November, minutes before we had to return for the evening curfew, we saw a lioness with 2 cubs. At 6 next morning, they were still in the same place at Potlekkertjie Loop. http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/ ... ional.html

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Stoffel » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:34 am

It seems I can regard myself as very lucky for seeing the females and cubs on 5 December. And that was even without driving as we were watching them from the stoep of our chalet.
Chris Boucher
26 Apr - 1 May Karoo
6 - 12 May - Punda Maria
13 - 18 May - Shingwedzi
19 - 25 May - Tsendze
26 - 28 May - Letaba
29 - 31 May - Balule
1 - 4 June - Maroela
5 - 7 June - Crocodile Bridge
8 - 12 June - Lower Sabie
16 - 19 June - Addo

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:34 pm

Here is the latest report on lion movements from the Park's Senior Section Ranger:

"All the lions are still doing well and it seems as if they adapted well to their new environment. The two males went their own ways, split up from the females, but do visit them once a week or so. The males tend to keep to the far eastern section , i.e the eastern boundary and the westwards towards the Lammertjiesleegte and rest camp area. They twice did a walk about along their “territory boundary” that includes the south eastern section up to the Fraserburg road boundary.

The females occupied the valleys and kloofs to the north of the rest camp for a while. They also spent a few weeks on the middle plateau area but moved this past week onto the Nuweveldberge in the Mountain View section. The males linked up with them there during this past weekend.

We found signs where the females taught the cubs to hunt and they killed a aardvark but did not eat the carcass. There were clear indication where they chased the aardvark out of its burrow and then into bush, dragged it from the bush and killed it.

With the good recent rains, water is in abundance in the veld and the lions don’t have to walk to get water."
Megan Taplin
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Malealea » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:28 pm

@ jonjon

Short question, are you a hunter? Because when I remeber right you want to introduce the oversea hunting. Now the cat bites itself in the tail. You tell us about preassure on Antelops but in reality we are the one to blame in terms of preassuring animals species. Other Argument If no Predators around they have to be shot otherwise hey are getting to much and destroy the park. If you want to qwuestion the Park policy you can do it. A policity of NP have always two sides of the medal. I can understand your concerns but I don´t agree with it. We all should be proud that we gave Nature the regulation system back. Predators also have a right to live and live where they actually lived befor humans hunt hem till extinction.

In Afrika were in former times two speicies of Lion. The Savanna and and the Cap Lion the cape Lion is history now but bothlived in this Sektion. You also can draw aline with Leopards. Even today two species occur the common Leopard and the Cap Leopard both was here befor humans hunt them till extinction. Therefor the have the right of comming back. In other cases if the species don´t occur in that area that is a completyl different Story and then I´m with you, but that is not the case.

If you want to hike you are ver y welcome to visizt Lesotho a very nice Landscape, freindly basothos. i think you will enjoy just give it a tray.
life is Game, you rather play or flee. I chose to play the Game.

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby jonjon » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:32 pm

Hi Malealea
No I am not a hunter, and I could never kill an animal and if I had to in order to eat meat I would probably become a vegitarian. I would not bring in overseas hunters to the Karoo park because there is no need to. When you travel around the park the beauty of it is not just the animals but the environment and the excellent walks that they had there. Lions were shot out 170 years ago when there used to be hundreds and thousands of "antelopes" that used migration routes that were more than likely thousands of years old. This could support the lions without much of an impact, now the animal population is not big in fact it is very small compared to the area. Then there was a time when they (PB?) tried to bring back the quagga and I believe that the lions will find these a tasty morsal and again will be wipped out. This Park has for years has been a place for walkers to enjoy one of the best places in the Karoo to hike around in, to be able to sit on a rock and watch the birds and insects and enjoy the noise of nature, but now we have to sit in a hot car no exercise but sit in this metal box, that was the main point of my aurgument, not to bring in hunters, I do not think they had to shoot any animals that were over bred in the Karoo. I have been to Lesotho and had many happy times, unfortunately never seen the fossilised foot prints of the dino's yet. and if you live in Lesotho I must say you have a wonderful Mountain Kingdom. jonjon

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Malealea » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:32 pm

@ Jonjon

I can understand your complains. But I don´t agree with. If you don´t have Predators you have to shoot Antelops to let the Ecosystem going. the whole System is natural Balanced now. As Far as I know you really enjoy Nature if this is the Case you normaly should enjoy the natural Balanced as well. To keep on going for lot of small Destinations which are nit able to get Lions or what ever reintroduced a new Chance occur. There are lot of small Game Reserves where you can walk around even in the Karoo desert. Otherway around this Tourism Destnation will be very intresting. That brings in more money and more work for all. We should be realkostic for alot of People that could be a Chance. We shouldn´t be selfisch and we should always be open for new things.

One thing I really don´t understand. You are not able walk that far, why are you complaining about the LIons? Sorry I don´t get the Point yet.

Just to let you know, I haved lived a couple of years in Lesotho, but origianlly I´m comming from Germany where I live today. But I konw from own experience that Lesotho can develop ( if the Infrarstruckture get improved) to a hikers Paradise. Even for such a Kingdome Tourism could be the key...
life is Game, you rather play or flee. I chose to play the Game.

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:06 am

Jonjon, visitors are still able to experience hiking in the Park. We take out two hikes a day on the Bossie and /or Pointer Trail with a guide (at no extra cost). Of course, you can also walk the chsort Fossil trail too as its in the fenced area.
Megan Taplin
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:47 pm

It would be difficult to give figures on how many visitors to Karoo National Park are hikers or used the hiking trail because before the introducton of lions, visitors could walk on the Bossie or Pointer Trail without reporting to reception (so figures were not recorded).

The main point however, is that you can still walk on these two trails, provided you walk with the armed ranger provided and at the set departure times. Of course, you can also walk on the Fossil Trail whenever you like as this is within the fenced area.

Even before the release of lions, visitors were not just allowed to walk anywhere within the Park but only on these two set trails.
Megan Taplin
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Stoffel » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:04 pm

I slept over in the park on 23 & 26 January. I had a nice long conversation with Brian van der Westhuizen on the morning of 24 January. Up till then, the last time lions were seen in the park by tourists was in the Pienaar's Pass (4x4 route) a while ago.

The two males are "inspecting" and "marking" the whole park and meet up with the females and cubs from time to time. Lion faeces (most probably of the males) were to be seen on the tar road between the gate and rest camp - actually between the gate and the first speed bump. Brian drew my attention to it.

This time we had no luck with the lions, but still enjoyed another fantastic visit to "our farm" (as my SO and I refer to the park).
Chris Boucher
26 Apr - 1 May Karoo
6 - 12 May - Punda Maria
13 - 18 May - Shingwedzi
19 - 25 May - Tsendze
26 - 28 May - Letaba
29 - 31 May - Balule
1 - 4 June - Maroela
5 - 7 June - Crocodile Bridge
8 - 12 June - Lower Sabie
16 - 19 June - Addo

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:37 am

As far as I know, leopards have not been recorded within the Park boundaries but we suspect that they may occur there even though we have no physical evidence of it.
Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region

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lions back in the karoo national park

Unread postby jfelizardo » Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:57 pm

Good to hear that the sanparks are reversing the situation with respect to the lion population ; i have this sense that in the 1800's there must have been a free for all , from the records it appears that not much escaped the hunters those days ; currently there are of course still concessions going for lion hunting in the kalahari and in many other areas in africa ,despite that male lion population is rapidly falling ; however the so called overseas hunters who most of the time shoot from blinds at baited lions are still allowed to come and shoot as they please maily because hunting is still allowed along with the demand for their usd's; national geographic Dericke Joubert estimates that 550 trophies are exported from africa then the scientific studies point to the need of compensating the rural populations (like in kenya) who traditionally kill lions as part of their culture (initiation in manhood?); well i would say stop the legal hunting of male lions in africa by the so called last of the great white hunters and easily get to a quick win situation ; i don't need to have a phd degree to understand that it is simple arithmetic ! so well done to sanparks that after 170 years and all the excesses and shortsighted hunting of the 1800's hunters we have again lions in the area!
By the way i am not even part of any animal walfare society , i am simply a dedicated hunter and rather prefer venison and biltong to lion meat.
Joao Felizardo

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby BlackHarrier » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:24 pm

jad wrote:How many prides can the Karoo Park support and when it reaches this number what will happen to the rest?


They estimated 15-20 Lions, when the population reaches 20 they will assess how many Lions the park can actually hold... They will probably move them to another reserve or np when there become too many Lions but this is still a long way off!

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:17 pm

I was in Karoo National Park in the first week of March and the two male lions were resident in the Lammertjiesleegte area while the lionesses and cubs had moved into the remote Mountain view area (not close to any roads).
Megan Taplin
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