Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Styx, Mapogo ... lions and more lions!

What a day so far, Texan and Rexon this morning with a whole lot of lions!! Mapogos, Kuhumas and Styx females. . .and some cubs! I just heard and saw from the big smiles back at camp this morning. It has been months since WE saw any, of these lions. I went back around noon to see them, I do love lions, and have missed seeing them. I went with Piet, and hoped to see and photograph some lions, most likely just lion around as they tend to do. WE were in luck, shortly after arriving on the scene, one of the two lionesses we were sitting with, noticed something behind us! It was three more lionesses, bringing in the cubs!! How lucky!
The Styx pride, hardly seen by us before, and with cubs. . .it got better, they proceeded towards the kill, towards where the Mapogos most likely were. WE followed. What next? Were the Kuhumas still around? Would a Mapogo erupt violently from the thick winter bush? There was a sudden growl, and a big male lion! I think it looked like Leonides, at least from what I could see through the sticks and brown, brittle grass.
There were no Kuhumas around, I think they want to stay well clear of what is going on around that buffalo carcass. It was great to see the Styx females, and also the throng of cubs. Piet counted nine in total. It was great to see how the cubs and females, on tip toe and with careful paws, approached the Mapogos. There were outbursts of growls and lions darting away, but I think it is safe to say: "these young cubs I saw today, have Mapogo blood in their veins, and I think they are here to stay!" WE will see more, share more, maybe gasp more . . . but most of all, WE will appreciate again, why it is called a 'PRIDE' of lions, and why they are the king of the beasts. WE find lions fascinating, it is not a choice, it is a primal response. Lions still stir something deep inside us, it is in our nature. Live the moment, it is real and WE are aLIVE.
Pieter Pretorius


Claire-M. from Québec city said...

Thank you, Pieter, for sharing what we didn't see.

Thanks also for the beautiful photos.

To see lions again was like a gift from heavens (the place where lions go after death). And what to say of seeing cubs ... they are so lovely.

Of course I'm writing this after the incredible drive we had this afternoon with you and Rexon.

I saw real live cubs LIVE for the first time since ... well I think it was in January before the dead cub was found ... No, no, it was in December before Blondie's death. You remember that drive when looking for tracks of the Kuhuma pride you received a warning and came back quickly to the vehicule smiling for us ...

You and Rexon are now my "Golden dream team".

Here I want to say a big thank you to Graham Wallington for dreaming WildEarth in the first place and putting it all together.

!!! ??? I wonder if one day South African will bestow an Honorary Citizenship for WE viewers??? !!!

I apply today!


Stacy said...

I missed it! OH NOOO! The one drive I miss...

I am so glad they are back and cubs! How exciting!!!!!!! The mapogo bloodline lives on!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it! I was moving for the last few days and it took me until this evening to get the broadband back. Thank you for the pics Pieter! I'll be along on the next drive, maybe I'll get lucky.

Jeanne Tampa,Florida