It’s Monday 9th July 2012 and how are the lions getting on?

I hope that everyone is doing as fabulously as we are.  We are however slightly up against the clock with the building of Tena Tena, but then again it would be boring if it was all smooth sailing now wouldn’t! The floors for the rooms are in and we have started on the bathrooms. The tents are leaving Johannesburg today (fingers crossed), all the solar kit is here and the team are coming in 10 days to install it all.  Rob and I are back from a trip to South Africa where I dragged him around as many material shops as I could find! The biggest smile of the trip came when we found the jackpot of all material shops! Rob got to sit on a comfy sofa with a cup of coffee whilst I whizzed around like a kid in a candy store!!!

However, this is not the purpose of this weeks Its Monday! I am in fact here to tell you all about the ongoing Mkulumadzi lion relocation project.  A few weeks back I wrote about it but we have some more interesting and exciting news, so here goes…

Previously I explained that the boys had been selected and collared, and the girls were about to be picked from the crowd as well, this has now all happened and we have moved on to the next step.  They were selected from a completely different pride  to ensure maximum genetic diversity, which in the future will  hopefully (all fingers and paws crossed) ensure that there will be a viable lion population after relocation.

Male Lion

On the 18th June the boys and girls were all to be captured at exactly the same time and moved to the boma. It was crucial that this all went smoothly and in unison so that all 4 of them would meet together after groggily waking up in the boma.  However, as we all know the best laid plans never do go smoothly, and as the teams set out, the first male was located by his radio collar so deep into the bush that there was no way that a car was getting to him!  What to do?! Well helicopters were the only option for him so the aerial team got under way, darted the bush boy and somehow managed to get him to the car before the road team headed off looking for the second male.

It turns out that this guy was a bit of a show off and was posing for a multitude of tourists cameras on a fresh kill by the side of the road.  Showing his better side to the tourists he happily lapped up the attention. After everyone was happy, the veterinary teams spoke to the tourists to see if they wanted to witness the darting of a wild animal and have first hand experience of conservation, which of course they all did! This time, everything went very smoothly and before they knew it both boys were bumbling along to their boma.

Male lion after being sedated

The ladies were of course a lot easier, as would be expected! And all four beasts woke up together in the boma slightly flustered and disorientated to start with but have bonded well and doing fine.  Enjoying the room service almost immediately!  The new family are having a blast and will be heading for Malawi on the 30th July.

Lions

So there we go! The next installment will be coming your way at the end of the month as we get ready for Majete’s new residents.

That is all for this week! I hope that you all have a splendid one, don’t work too hard and remember to have fun.

Cheers

Emily

sunset

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