The Mbiri pride stayed north, out of the reach of the Matimba males and moved the cubs into the drainage line on catwalk west. We had 2 sightings of the pride over the 2 days, and both within a very close proximity to each other. The cubs were hidden in the deep, thick riverine bush and seem to be safe for now anyway. How far north the Mbiri’s decide to move is going to be interesting, because of the threat of the Avoca males further north, in what was the northern parts of Mbiri territory. Times have changed for this pride, but the instinct to protect the cubs is definitely driving their decisions at the moment.
Thanda Impi male Lions
The Thanda Impi males have stayed close to the Mbiri pride, moving north and ensuring that the cubs are defended. The last few weeks have seen some close calls for the Thanda impi’s, but they have stepped up against a very dangerous opposition, particularly the Skorro male. He spent a lot of time roaring and keeping the Matimba’s away to the south. At one point, they moved north away from the Mbiri’s, and i wonder if that is what forced the Mbiri’s to move the cubs north as well (just a different theory i suppose). All in all, the experience of these males is proving to be their greatest weapon.
Rhulani male Leopard
Our prince of the north, was seen for the first time in a while, in the north again. We had the one sighting of him, just to the north of where the Mbiri pride were seen. He was as relaxed as always, but his fortunes have also changed as well. The part of his territory is currently under siege from the Ntsuntsu male, as well as the Tekwane male. But as I’ve mentioned before, his territory was far to large and is now approaching the normal size for male Leopards in this region. Normalizing means stabilizing, so its actually good for the Leopard population.
Ntsuntsu male Leopard
We had one sighting of the Ntsuntsu male as well, just about 1 kilometer west from where the Rhulani male was seen a day before. There isn’t much to report on the sighting, as he was sleeping in the drainage line. Rhulani seems to have given up on this part of his old territory, but a stand off with the Tekwane male seems to be on the horizon. Both males are about the same size and age, so its going to be interesting to see who comes out on top of this one!
Other views from the bush
Until the next blog
Darren and the Tintswalo Safari Team