Tuesday, 8 January 2008

The Mapogos are back in town.

The Mapogos tend to spend most of their time in the southern parts of the Sabi Sands and enter Djuma from Chitwa or Hoffmans, crossing Cheetah cut line on to central road, then they pass around Gowrie waterhole area- and take Vuytela access road to Gowrie gate and cross into Simbambilli in the west and head back south from there. They are currently mating with one of the styx pride females. It is said that there are now 6 males in the Mapogo coalition ... again, that is true, but there is some speculation on who this other male might be. Some say that he is the brother who got killed by that croc in Mala Mala, other say he was a nomadic male who came from a different pride. All the guides in the area, are getting worried because the Mapogos are causing mayhem where ever they go! They have driven other lions out of the park and these lions have now started hunting cattle in the rural areas.
There are many stories of the Mapogos killing, attacking and taking over. These two videos were taken by Andre de Kock on his cell phone last winter at Arathusa of the Mapogos attacking the Tsalala pride and killing their cubs.
video

video

As many of you know our very own Kahuma pride were attacked and Blondie (one of the two male lions in control of the pride) was killed. The Kahumas fled into Manyaleti to the north with their 14 cubs and under the leadership of Dozie. This morning it was reported that their was an 'interaction' between some of the Kahuma females and the Mapogos on Djuma's northern border. Nobody was hurt, but clearly the Mapogos wish to mate with the Kahuma lionesses (along with every other lioness in the Sands), but because their cubs are still alive they are not receptive. It would appear that the Mapogos are not interested in travelling further north into the Manyaleti ... so for the moment the Kahuma cubs are safe, WE just don't get to see them.
There is little that can be done about these thugs. it has always been policy not to get involved in the natural progression of these things. However, there is now a lot of talk all over the Sands. Some have spoken of moving some of the Mapogos to another reserve or even shooting some of them. Everyone is angry, but decisions like this are highly unlikely and could only be taken by officials at the Kruger National Park, but it certainly shows the emotions these 6 big lions are bringing out.
On another note, Pieter is back and Hayley will be back from leave on the 17Th of this month. Drives will be going out at 05h30 (CAT) in the morning and 17h00 (CAT). Game drives are almost back to full length, thanks to James becoming a battery 'master'. I think I speak for all of us when I say: "A big thank you James, for all the effort you put in."

7 comments:

LadyDoc said...

Thank you for the update and information.

I will be fascinated to see how the discussions among those who supervise the various reserves go on. The non-intervention policy certainly seems on the surface to be the obvious choice, but at what point does the "mayhem" as you call it become such a danger to the whole pattern of life that it should be addressed?

EmeraldCity said...

Thank you for the update on the Mapogos....It helps to hear it from those that know and the speculation or misinformation is kept to a minimal at best...I hope to hear more about this group of lions and wish all the best to the Kuhuma pride and cubs..Thank you WE...
EmeraldCity

simescan said...

Thank you for the Mapogo update, and for all that you do for us. It must be in your nature...
Rick

Anonymous said...

I hope I don't come off too strong here, but I find it almost ridiculous that intervention is even being considered in this instance. Coalitions this large are rare for this area but occur more frequently in other parts of Africa. These lions aren't upsetting the natural order here, they ARE the natural order, or at least part of it. It is extremely unfortunate that they are responsible for attacking and killing other lions that we have grown to love or enjoy, but to consider culling or relocating them because of it indicates to me that some might be becoming too emotionally involved in the situation. I understand that some level of emotional investment is natural, but some level of detachment is also required when it comes to allowing nature to take its course. Intervention might be a different matter if these lions were raised in captivity and released as some sort of man-made experiment, but they are natural products of the Sabi Sands and the very essence of the natural order that we are striving to maintain.

Pippa said...

I would like to confirm the policy of Djuma Game Reserve and the rest of the Sabi Sand Wildtuin that there is no way we would consider culling or relocating this magnificent coalition of lions. They are part of the natural order of the reserve and we are here as observers and not participants. The only time we would interfere would be if humans had been in any way responsible in the first place. Even then we would consult the SSW ecology committee as well as the State Vet for the KNP before any further action would be taken. Pippa Moolman

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon WE. It is an honor to be able to watch your drive when I can hook up. Two month ago I had my left leg amputated & spend a lot of time in front of the computer now. I really like the new Q&A session you had with Pieter. I would love to see this turn into maybe a monthly session.
Would like to see Rex involved as well.They both have so much to share with the world. Thank you all for everything you do to make this possible. Ken

Mamasafari said...

Thank you, Pippa! Though I realize acceptance of non-intervention is difficult for some to accept, it's the right thing.

In all my trips to Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and RSA) I have never seen a coalition of this size. How unusual is it? Ths most males I've seen in a pride was three and that was a pride of 50 which, soon after we spotted them, split into separate prides. Pride takeovers are touch but fascinating to watch. I was privileged to see one from start to finish on one of my six-week stays. The females hid out for a week or two but finally mated with the two nomad males on the last day of my trip. The following year, when I returned, there were seven new babies in the pride!