Our big male lion has been abandoned recently by two of our adult lionesses. The two of them have decided to go off hunting and enjoying their own company leaving the Big Boy on his ace. (As females are want to do from time to time. The pride usually re-establishes itself within a couple of weeks.) For a few days he stayed in the reeds, doing his protecting of one of his areas from leopard and any possible other male that may, or may not, want to steal his land and females from him. The females met up with four of their offspring and have been glimpsed here and there among the property. After a few days the male went looking for them and finding only the four sub-adult females, he set off back up to the reeds, only to come south again the next night killing an unsuspecting warthog and scent marking.
This morning we tracked him lazily wandering from south back north again, scent-marking, full belly swinging, and absent mindedly going about his search. After getting a great viewing of him walking next to the vehicle, in front of the vehicle, and through the bush, myself and my guests headed off to view a rather large male white rhino and a herd of about 150 buffalo. Just as we were about to stop and enjoy a hot cup of coffee out in the bush the call came through that the big male lion was not only out for the count for the day but that he had reunited with our lone female and her two cubs.
We see this lioness from time to time but her cubs are quite shy and a very rare sighting indeed. So off we went to view the cubs and what a great sighting! They are now about 3 or 4 months old and are following their mother about on excursions. The female did not seem too happy to have the male around but later that day for evening game drive there the four of them were still. Just lying around, (excuse the pun), the young ones were playing and the male was playing the dutiful dad, while the female caught a cat nap and then cleaned her offspring before letting them play again, (harassing birds and practicing their pouncing skills.)
So a lonely male lion has turned into a blessing for the rangers and guests here at Kapama. The female is now more relaxed with us viewing her, as are her cubs, and the Big Boy doesn’t have to hunt for himself for awhile…Great Stuff!
Story by: Noelle Di Lorenzo-Kapama River Lodge Ranger