A Leader is Lost

A few weeks ago we found the collar of the very old alpha male of Mapura Pack, Nyoka. We never found his carcass, so we do not know what happened to him, but he has not been seen with his pack for three weeks suggesting he died. Nyoka was 8 years old, and bite marks across the top of the collar indicate he was probably killed by lions.

Nyoka, a fearless leader

Nyoka, a fearless leader


For the past few weeks the pack has been moving around uncollared, and seeing as they like to venture outside of the conservancy, this situation was less than ideal. Fortunately, we received a report of the dogs resting at a water point yesterday afternoon, and due to the incredible heat at the moment, the pack hadn’t moved at all when we got there.

We managed to dart a young male (who will be called Dirk after the water point we found the pack at!) and fitted him with a satellite collar. We will now be able to keep a better watch of the pack and make sure they come to no harm.


Dirk immobilised with plenty of ice packs to keep cool!


Rosemary Groom and Jess Watermeyer relieved with a successful collaring.


Collaring opportunities are a great hands-on learning experience for our local attachment students!


We are sad to see the end of Nyoka’s reign, but wait with anticipation to see how new pack dynamics will unfold as this year’s denning season approaches. Who will step forward and lead the pack alongside the alpha female, Ursula?

Mapura Pack

Mapura Pack


P.S. Some of you may remember that Scarlet (the young female who was so badly injured by lions last year) is part of this pack. We are happy to report she is doing well and still with the pack!

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