Saturday, 12 January 2008

Mapogo rampage!!

The faint roar of a distant lion could be heard at Gowrie waterhole, just as the sun started to fight through the heavy clouds early this morning. A new chapter in the history of a lion pride was about to unfold ... very violently!
The Mapogos were still in the area, and all were fearing for the lives of the Kahuma pride, it's new leader Dozi, his females and their 14 young cubs. The radio in the Final Control crackled as Pieter, with a soft-sad voice, anounced that: "The Mapogos had killed one of the Kahuma Pride's cubs!" One of the four older male cubs have fallen to the the Coallition of six. Pieter was heading north east on Gowrie cutline to show us the horrible scene! A couple of minutes later, just off Gowrie / Buffelshoek cutline, lay the carcass of a proud young male. Bathed in blood and covered with flies ... dead. This beautiful male lion cub fell to the Mapogos' rage, with bites to the throat and skull.
Yesterday morning other Djuma game drives found Dozi, not where he was supposed to be, protecting his females and cubs, but on the Buffelshoek boundary mating with one of the Styx lionesses.
Now the scent of this lioness in oestrus, must have lured the eager Mapogos closer and closer to Dozi, and the rest of the Kahuma pride, who had managed to bring down a female giraffe the night before, and were busy feeding. Then, picking up the scent of a fresh kill and the Kahuma females, the Mapogos changed direction. On arrival the powerful Mapogos must have run in, scattering our Kahumas in all directions. Then they would have split up to chase the cubs and lionesses. Now they had the giraffe carcass, chased the females away and killed a male cub. WE don't know if there were any other cubs killed, but 'really for sure', with the Mapogos; there is very little chance that any cubs got away!
We must wonder. What if Dozi was with the pride, instead of with the Styx lioness? Would this have changed the outcome? Dozi would have most probably also been killed? Can we compare the life of the cub and that of Dozi? Will Dozi be next anyway?
In any event Dozi has fled. With his tale between his legs, far into the Manyaleti. The females ran to the north as well, and will try to stay out of this area for as long as possible. Particularly if any cubs are still alive.
Pieter edged on towards his first sighting of the Mapogo males at the stolen meal, not far from the young cub carcass at Buffelshoek Gowrie cut line. On arrival, two males were still at the kill. Pieter almost immediately fell in love with the Mapogos' shear beauty and strength (this was the first time he had seen them). Pieter decided that one of them reminded him of Shaka; the legendary King of the Zulus. A fearsome, fearless and magnificent leader of the Zulu nation, many years ago.


Later WE found one of the other Mapogos slowly heading towards his brothers at the kill, and occasionally scent marking on his way ... Djuma is Mapogo territory now. This one on his own is known as "Mr T". A lean, mean, fighting machine. A bulk of pure muscle. He received his name from the old TV series: "The A-Team". One of the characters; "Mr T", had a Mohawk haircut. Just like this impressive lion appears to have.
It is hard to see anything positive in this morning's tragedy, but this is Nature. This is the way of lions with strong genes. One day this great Mapogo bloodline will run through the veins of many lions in the Sabi Sands. One day we will learn to love and, hopefully, understand this coalition of powerful brothers. For what they do, is only natural. The law of Nature will prevail. Only the fittest will survive.
Not long from now a great dynasty of lions will be born all over the Sabi Sands. Led and protected by an awesome coalition. Let this thought help us all to accept the loss of the Kahuma cub and many others.
This afternoon's drive promises to be very interesting when Pieter goes back to the giraffe carcass, and the area around, to see who else WE can find in this unfolding drama ... see you there!
Written by Jan Harm Robbertse

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

sure would be nice to actually be able to SEE what you are talking about!!! but, NOOOOOO, i cannot get on the web site!

LadyDoc said...

Thank you for the update and organization of the information from the AM drive.

Please tell Pieter that his commentaries this morning were marvelous- a combination of the sometimes sad reality of life in the wild with a true appreciation for the beauty of it as well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this informative and objective report on the latest Mapogo rampage. I was and still am, very saddened to see the loss of any young animal. However,you have reminded some of us with how nature works and has survived for so many thousands of years.

I am sorry for the first anonymous comment here from an ungrateful reader. Unfortunately, sometimes it's a few ungrateful people who have become too comfortable and unnecessarily vicious within our own volatile and vulnerable human culture. Just keep those reports coming and most of us are happy.

Thanks again for the drives and keeping the reports updated for us. They are the next best thing to being there. :)

TC

wile1 said...

I believe Pieter did a wonderful job presenting the facts and information and telling us exactly what was what.. I applaude him for his compassion and understanding of all our feelings.. Although this is disturbing it is nature..And I believe most of us understand that.

Anonymous said...

i too would like to see the animals on wild earth..not ungrateful, just want to see the action!!! not a vicious human, just want to see the lions too!!!

Anonymous said...

Tc, you are not the blogger police! Don't worry about the comments made by others! It's ok for us to complain about not being able to see the drives...maybe the service will improve!

Raven-Camwatchers Cafe said...

How hard that must have been for Pieter. We all understand it is nature but it is still hard to take.

The Q & A sessions have been a big hit! I second the motion that it became a regular monthly feature.
We get to gain insight as well as satisfy our own curiosity.

If you can't get on the drive, you can still enjoy the wonderful videos that so many post. That is what most of us have to do on a regular basis.

Keep up the fantastic work.

Anonymous said...

Simply fantastic huffing session going on thru the night. Cannot wait for the jeep to get fixed. Love the shots of the lions on the road this morning before the power went out.

Fantastic job of explaining the cycle of life.

Tell anonymous there are many videos posted on utube and photo bucket of the 1/12/2008 viewing of these lions.

Love what y'all are doing and even listening to the animals when you cannot see them is addicting.

Claire-M. from Quebec city, Canada aka Clic2007 said...

That was written after the drive.

We really had a fantastic drive tonight/morning. We somewhat learned that though mourning a lion cub we could not help but fall in love with it's murderers, because that's the way life is in the Wild. And thanks to WildEarth we were able to live that experience.

Pieter, if you read this, thank you for kindly preparing us and never leaving us alone with the harsh reality of what we saw in the first part of this drive.

After the carcass of the lion cub, you showed us "life as it is in the Wild" a Lizard buzzard holding
its prey in its claws, a Vervet monkey sitting on a branch high up a big tree having probably witnessed the kill of the lion cub.

You smoothed our path to comprehension by stopping the vehicule so we can relax a bit by looking at the grass gentle soothing waves in a field of many shades of green. It worked for me.

Next, you lead us to an exciting adventure : the first meeting with the Mapogo males, for those who weren't logged on on January 7th
short Sunrise drive. You were ready to fall in love with these powerful males and you, probably, knew that we would follow,
understand your excitement and accept that these lion males are beautiful creatures of Mother Nature and are part of our love for Djuma's wildlife, a gift from WildEarth and you and James and, I can't forget, Jan who remained speechless when we cut to Gowrie after the first sighting.

*******

Yesterday, while editing that drive, I "received a message from the Lion Cub" and I translated it in images and English words. I'm
really good at interspecies communication!!!

http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=iJTORc7RAOY

Thank you once again to all WE team! Good job, guys!

Claire-M. from Quebec city, Canada aka Clic2007

Balto4 said...

I don't see the other poster as ungrateful,it is annoying to NEVER be able to see anything!!!!!

Some people see it all the time and I hardly ever do-if I get in at all I get dumped and not back in!!!

When it was easier to get in,I didn't go in everyday because I wanted others to see it as well,is it that hard to ask others to do the same?

Anonymous said...

well said balto4...Eventually We will expand but until then those who manage to get on these drives all the time should be more considerate of others who rarely or never get on.