Jock Safari Lodge welcomes four new additions to the Jock Lion Pride. The eldest female of the pride, which proudly wears a collar sponsored by and paid for by Jock Safari Lodge to Kruger National Park to study daily movements, has become a mother again.
She has successfully raised 5 males who have just left the pride after it was taken over by 5 big males which we call the “Malembane males”. We watched as they chased the old Jock male away and started mating with the females of the Jock Pride. We all had our suspicions about 2 months ago that she’d given birth but we hadn’t yet seen the cubs until recently.
At first the cubs were very timid, running away from the cars as soon as they saw us. From there on every time we saw them we stayed back so as not to scare the youngsters but still be able to see them and over the last couple of weeks they’ve become very brave and inquisitive, even approaching the cars to within 5 metres or so.
We’ve been extremely fortunate as they have been hanging around in the river on our private concession, allowing us to view them almost on a daily basis. She is a very proud mother, often lying in the middle of the vehicle tracks in the river, calling the cubs to come out so they can suckle and to show them off to the guides and guests. It’s an incredible occurrence hearing the little “voices” of the cubs calling back to her, then the rustling in the bushes and out they burst, tripping over their own paws, running up to mom through the soft sand and jumping on her. Knowing the female as we do we will be seeing these little guys for a long time and hopefully see them through to their adult life like we did with the young males.
Words and Images by Lyle Gregg