A few days ago, five lions were moved from Malilangwe Trust down to Gonarezhou National Park. Malilangwe Trust is a relatively small conservation area, and managers needed to reduce the number of lions there. Neighbouring Gonarezhou NP seemed the sensible place to move some to, given the low lion population densities in the park at the current time.
So on Tuesday night, a pride of five lions were moved into the park. They were released in an area by a river with plenty of prey, but no other lion prides. The pride structure was one adult female, two subadult females and two subadult males – all beautiful and healthy lions.
The five lions at the release site – just prior to being woken up with the reversal drugs (all are blindfolded to protect their eyes from damage).
Lion whisker spots – can be used for identification
The translocation and release went smoothly, and when I checked on the pride the following day they were all doing well.
Julius tracking to locate the lions
By Thursday, they had moved off and we were unable to locate them from the ground – hampered by very few roads and the fact that the rivers were uncrossable.
The Runde River at the base of the Chilojo Cliffs – not crossable at this time of year
There is a GPS collar on the pride however, so they will be located from the air in the next week or so, and the collar downloaded, so we will be able to see where they have moved off to and settled down.
Back in the conservancy we continue to have hot, dry days with no sign of rain. Rueben came back from annual leave yesterday, so hopefully we will have more luck with our efforts to find and count the wild dogs now!