Blog Index The death of a King

7 years ago 2 Kings joined the Jock pride of lions, they ruled with an iron paw and defended the territory from all attackers with brute force until 2 years ago when one of the Kings died leaving his brother to defend the females and the territory, which he did with the same aggressive and defiant attitude.

He fathered 7 cubs, 2 females which are still in the pride and 5 males. About 3 months ago he and his sons were ousted by 3 males from the Malembane pride of males and had to move off to pastures new.

Unfortunately the life of a male lion is a difficult one and over the past few months he grew old and weak until on the 29th of February 2012 on a warm morning, a herd of about 200 buffalo found him and his sons. They chased the sons off and he lay weak under a leadwood tree with buffalo all around, hoping not to be noticed. Unfortunately they picked up his scent and moved in.

Lions and buffalo are mortal enemies. He had taken buffalo down many times and on this day it was the buffalo’s time for revenge. They moved in and in a brutal attack took their revenge on the weak King. He fought off each attack like he had in the past but it was too much for him. The buffalo attacked for about 20 minutes until they were satisfied that he had finally been dethroned and was no longer a threat.

This left all the rangers that knew the King and had witnessed the attack with mixed emotions. He will be missed but he has given us 5 sons to follow. The pictures, taken by Ranger Lyle Gregg below, show the start of the attack.

Jock Safari Lodge - Lion Buffalo











Jock Safari Lodge - Death of a Lion











Jock Blog Lion











Jock Blog Male Lion












All words and images by Lyle Gregg.


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Chuck Helms posted on 3 March 2012:

Hello Lyle. Deda & I were wondering if this was the same old battle scarred male we saw when we were with you recently? We had a wonderful stay and will be following the blog with great interest and hope we can one day return. All the best, Chuck

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Christine Woods posted on 3 March 2012:

So sad.

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Arie de Korte posted on 2 March 2012:

That day I was with a group from the Amarula event at Jock Safari Lodge. We as a group were also witnesses to this drama. It was very impressive to see the buffalo attacking this lion. Yes, a great loss!

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Christine Woods posted on 2 March 2012:

That is so sad. Just being there when it happened must have been traumatic for Lyle, but to capture it on film too! He is a very special and dedicated ranger. I am upset that the photos are showing his last moments but understand that this is nature. Farewell to the King.x

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Victor Visser posted on 2 March 2012:

I love the bush but the bush don't need a plumber otherwise I would be living there! It's great to have sights like yours to keep in touch with things. I saw the first report on the lion and even though it's the circle of life it's still sad but nice to know he has offspring to follow and get to know. I will be in the park for 6 days come April. Can't wait and hope to see plenty again. Thanks again, keep up the work and maybe let us know where those young lions are roaming.

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