Lions at Amakhosi: New “Boys” on the Block !
Guests that have stayed at Amakhosi over the last month might have seen these two beautiful animals. However, not many of you will know that we have been lucky enough to receive two new male lions.
As it has been just over a month since the arrival of these male lions from Tembe Elephant Park, we thought it might be a fitting time to give a quick update on how they are doing.
Lion being collared for monitoring purposes and vet giving Lion a check up
After being a little skittish initially due to the move (understandable so), the vehicles are starting to get some memorable sightings. They are getting more relaxed by the day and settling in well.
WHY INTRODUCE NEW LIONS ?
You might wonder why we would introduce new lions, when we already have a coalition of two beautiful young males. The aim, is to ensure that our genetic diversity stays as strong as possible. If not managed, too much in breeding can take place, this would lead to a weak genetic pool and health complications for the generations that follow.
The addition of these two males , will also bring a better natural balance to the reserve, which has been lacking since the passing of our dominant coalition a few years ago. From a behavioral perspective, it is imperative that a territory (in this instance our reserve), is run by a dominant coalition. Patrolling and defending their boundaries through scent-marking, roaring and if need be, fighting.
Without a dominant coalition fulfilling their role, the behavior of the pride will be altered. Females will often try and leave the reserve in order to find males, young male lions (like the coalition we currently have), might not leave the pride as they should, and young cubs will constantly be at risk of being killed by any dominant males managing to breach the boundaries from neighboring reserves.
These two are around four and a half years old and is therefore very important in terms of lion conservation on the reserve. Male lions can live to an average of about 12 years in the wild, so we can look forward to them taking charge and hopefully fulfilling their role well for many more years to come.