Ajubatus Lion Monitoring Project in the Kruger National Park: 8-12 October 2012

So this was now my second week camping in Satara, the days had been super hot. I had a date with the Timbavati picnic spot pride and I did not believe it but these cats actually stood me up, hahahahah. I drove around that entire area searching for them and not even a single beep. So I did what I could do till I went b…ack to bed, there was no sign of life at all this night. Except for the male lion I saw while driving up to the picnic spot. Beautiful guy just a wrong day to appear hahahahah. So I decided I would give them another chance, and there I was again Wednesday night searching for the pride, nothing. This is the difficult part, having to find MIA lions.
Thursday night we had to capture down by Tshokwane, dove down to meet with the rest of the team by Tshokwane and I was shocked at what I saw on arrival. Laying there lifeless was a wildebeest. I thought to myself “finally the zebra’s get a rest”. The Section ranger Steven Whitfield was present and he walked as we drove to where he last saw the lions that day. We were losing light and had to setup quick. On this day we were graced with the presence of a couple of people, a television crew and John Dyer of Ajubatus. Just as darkness hit, we started calling and in less than five minutes we had three big lionesses on the carcass. They did not look hungry but being an opportunistic species they ate anyways. Two sub adult males joined the feeding group and behind them came two more females. We now had seven lions on the bait, after a few were darted and took away, a mating pair joined in. So all the tests and branding was done and before we knew it we were done and waiting for the lions to wake up. The team left and two of us remained in the Ajubatus vehicle. We waited and waited for the last lion to recover, she eventually did and as soon as that happened, two adult males joined the party. They didn’t seem to be bothered by each other. While making our way back and hardly 100m from the bait we observed another adult male heading to the place to be hahahahah. The drive back was uneventful and my parking the car on arrival concluded the week.

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