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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 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:00 pm

Latest sightings of the lions are:

Males were seen in the Doornheok valley, near the picnic site on Sunday & Monday

Lionesses & subadults were seen yesterday on the Nuweveld 4x4 loop in the Kookfontein area. They were moving in the direction of Embizweni today.
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Addo Elephant » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:53 am

Hi alf,
The lionesses and subadults are just west of Embizweni on the Nuweveld 4x4 trail this morning. There hasn't been a recent sighting of the male lions.
Its best to ask at reception when you arrive at the park (and daily) as the rangers will update the receptionist on any new sightings of lions.
Enjoy the visit!
Megan Taplin
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by alf » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:23 pm

Thank you guru. The sightings board yesterday were showing lions close to bulkraal. Not sure if this could have been the males or people thinking they are funny.
Made my booking for Desember 2014!! Whoohoo

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by o-dog » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:21 pm

picnic wrote:Nice :cam: the lions looks like Kalahari lions,are they maybe related?


With names like Nossob and Bitterbal, they cant be anything else but Kalahari lions !! 8) :wink:
Mana Pools: 11th - 20th Oct
KNP: 27th Nov - 5 Dec

DanPawson
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by DanPawson » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:58 am

Me and my wife visited the Karoo National Park at the end of October 2011 and were lucky enough to spot a group of 6 lions twice in two days. They were made up of 5 lionesses and one young male. The young male however looked very ill and this was brought under the attention of the rangers. I enquired for a few days in November and was told that the lions was going to be put in a boma to recover. I found out today that it infact died and that it was a result of a snake bite. Maybe I am wrong but seeing that these lions are still being monitored to ensure they settle in nicely why was nothing done sooner. Surely this lion could have been saved. :( :(

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by DanPawson » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:13 am

Bush Baptist wrote:Welcome to the forum DP.

SANP policy is non-interference with nature.

It is just bad luck on the lion's part.....

I understand all that BB but this is maybe a bit different as they were still "keeping an Eye" on these lions via tracking ext. Surely they must do everything in their power to ensure these lions adapt to the area. The head ranger still said to me they have called on a dart team to get the lion to a boma for treatment. Obviously they did not do that. He could have given me the same answer.

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by DanPawson » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:58 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:Glad you are clued up DP. :thumbs_up:

I think it has got a lot to do with the fact that lions in KNP are scarce and it would be costly to get replacements if they snuff it.

Thanks BB. Ja, it is sad. I must however say the other lions look wonderfull. It is worth to go and have a peek. I was also impressed with the camping facilities in KNP, if you are into the camping seen. Allways used to drive past and tell my wife "we gotto go there". Finally did. Well worth it.
Thanks for the interest. :D

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:47 am

DanPawson

Thank you for you very interesting but sad info about the Karoo lions!

Having followed their journey from KTFP to Addo to Nyathi to Karoo National Park, I am concerned about the danger of INBREEDING in our Karoo Lion population...

If I remember correctly -- Megan, please help us! -- the two senior lionesses are Kamqua (Ex-Kgalagadi) and Megan (daugter of Aardlam x Bitterbal). Somewhere I read that they were put on contraceptives (an injection) on arrival in the park, because Karoo cannot afford too many lions too soon... this should last 2 years, till about Spring 2012...

Now we have 3 junior lionesses, sired by Nossob/Bitterbal coalition in Nyathi/boma at Addo, with mother being Megan +/or Kamqua.

This means some of these young lionesses are descendents of Bitterbal/Nossob 2x already!

If they come into oestrus later this year, who will mate with them? Their father + grandfather!

Question: I would hate to see poor Nossob/Bitterbal moved again, but what other male is available to sire cubs with these young lionesses? -- perhaps Nomad (ex Kgalagadi) or one of Sally's (Kuzuko) young male cubs that must have grown up by now. I am not sure who their father was, but I guess a young male like Mat or Amla wouldn't qualify either (sired by Nossob)...?

Megan, do let us know your longterm goals for these lions. I am sure you have a very good plan already, which would most likely mean NO cubs from 5 lionesses simultaneously! Imagine the Karoo population shooting up to 20 lions within a few months!

God bless for 2012! :D

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 Addo Elephant » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:36 am

Hi DanPawson,
To clarify the situation regarding the male juvenile lion who died:

The Honorary Rangers first reported to the Snr Section Ranger that the male lion juvenile was not looking very well and visitor reports later confirmed this. The rangers tracked down the pride and decided that it would be best to dart the young male and put it in a boma to see what was wrong, in case it had a disease which could affect the rest of the pride.

At first, as it was a weekend, no vets were available to come out to dart and assess the lion. When vets were able to come out, the pride had moved into an inaccessible area and efforts to call them out using a carcass were not successful. Before vets/rangers could get to the lions again, the male died. It was then established that the lion died from a puffadder bite.

As the cause of death was natural, we should accept it is as nature’s way. Intervention would probably not have saved the lion because there was a lot of tissue damage from the snake venom. Mortality rates in young and sub adult lions are naturally generally high.

SANParks’ policy is aimed at minimum interference in the natural system. We do take special precautions and actions when a species is threatened or endangered and also if we need to check whether disease is breaking out. In these cases, we might manage animals on an individual basis. The purpose of monitoring the lions in Karoo NP is not to check whether they have adapted to the park – they have been there for over a year and are in good condition, so have already settled in – but to monitor how they are impacting the herbivore populations and how they are using the habitat. Of course, we can also keep visitors updated on their movements too :)
Megan Taplin
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Addo Elephant » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:10 am

Regarding your comments and questions on lion management, Friedrich:

SANParks manages the lion population in Karoo NP as a megapopulation which includes the lions in Addo and other parks. We use various management tools to do so, including translocation and contraception. This ensures that there is minimal inbreeding and that lion populations due not exceed the numbers necessary for a balance in the ecosystem dynamics.

The lionesses have been contracepted, and once the subadult lionesses reach breeding age, they will probably also be contracepted. The current contraception method that is being used is active for 2 years. The subadult male would have been translocated to another park or private reserve to ensure he did not breed with his sisters or mother.

You are correct with your "family tree" dynamics mentioned in your post, Friedrich.

Here are some photos of the lions taken in December 2011 in the riverbed near Embizweni cottage:

Image

Image
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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:59 pm

Thank you for filling us in on the 'intervention' policy, which will be supported by all nature lovers except (maybe) the most emotional.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by BVivier » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:56 pm

We visited Karoo National Park in December - here are some of our Lion sightings:

Image

Bitterbal?

Image

Nossob?

Image

Young Lioness
Image

More Karoo photos at:
http://www.bvphotography.co.za/2012/01/karoo-national-park-holiday/


Enjoy

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Leaping Lizards » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Some news from the Lions in Karoo National Park.

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the Karoo National Park; November 21, 22 and 23. During that time, lions were seen every day by various people on the 4x4 route. Unfortunately, we did not have a 4x4, so cannot confirm for ourselves.

Also, we did a guided hike, and our guide told us that the Karoo National Park has 2 more Lions in a boma and that one of the females is expecting. They are hoping to have around 11 Lions by February.

The guided hikes are free and highly recommended. They leave 3 times a day and you need to reserve your spot.
August/September - Sirheni, Letaba, Talamati and Satara :P

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Re: Karoo Lions

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:07 pm

:D :D :D

Leaping Lizards, you made my day!

I immediately phoned the park to check the facts, and you are so right!
Two young MALE LIONS imported from the Kgalagadi! They do not have manes yet, so are subadult/adult I would guess about 2 years old??
:clap: :clap: for each one of them! I suppose to bring new genetic variety to the Karoo when the old males need replacing...

:dance: :dance: Further good news. They suspect one of the younger females has already given birth to at least 1 cub -- small tracks/spoor has been picked up by the rangers. So far no sightings, but can't be older females since they are still on contraceptives!

This is serious in-breeding (unless the Dad was the other male...), but hopefully the new young males can sort matters like this out in the future!

I am going past Karoo NP next week -- still never seen a lion there. Will it be my lucky day?

God bless and thanks a million for the good news,

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 Leaping Lizards » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:04 am

Its been a pleasure to bring you the good news. We plan to go back to the Karoo in about 3 months time. This time with a rented 4x4. We were told that the lions are mostly seen on the 4x4 loop. Also, the animals we are looking for, foxes, aardwolfs are also seen in that area.
August/September - Sirheni, Letaba, Talamati and Satara :P


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Webcam Highlights

Addo
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satara
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