(A young male lion causes an uproar at Cheetah Plains in South Africa as he tries to claim a territory)


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Some months ago the tension at Cheetah Plains was building as the lone male lion (we refer to as the Nkuhuma Male) was running riot in our area of operation. He was scent marking, mating with females and trying to claim the area in the north as his own.

The pride who bore the brunt of his attempts was the Styx pride, and within this pride there are two sub adult male lions who were being dominated by the larger, more powerful male. The tension boiled over a few times, but the young males headed for the hills on most occasions. On one particular evening, they had enough and actually started moving in, salivating heavily, their intentions were clear.

A few mornings later, I spent some time tracking the lions, and eventually arrived at a dam where I located one of the young male lions from the Styx pride, looking weary and rather bloody. I moved onto the dam wall to have a better look and try ascertain what occurred during the night – when out of the blue, two of the lionesses approached the young male from behind my vehicle, and following them was the Nkuhuma male lion.

The pictures give you a good idea of the carnage that followed.

At the end of the day, all ended well. The Styx pride have three cubs that were sired by the nomadic Nkuhuma male, and they have done a great job of evading the territorial dominant males and raising the cubs to about seven months old thus far.

The two young males are still with the pride, however the Nkuhuma male lion has all but disappeared. Every once in a while, he will be sighted for a day and then disappear into the bush.


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