On the 1st of July 2011, Zululand Rhino Reserve officially became a Big 5 reserve with the introduction of 3 male lions. An historical day for conservation, returning lions to an area that they previously inhabited.
The 3 young males have been in a boma at Phinda Game Reserve for the last couple of weeks, until finally the go-ahead was given and they could be bought over to their new home. A few days before they were bought over to us, they were fitted with telemetry collars so that we can keep track of their movements and whereabouts. Once the lions have settled in, and we have an idea of their range, the collars will be removed.
|Lion sedated and about to be fitted with the telemetry collar|
Right now the lions are in a boma here with us, and they will spend a few more weeks in the boma so that they can acclimatise and monitored for any disease that they may have contracted. If they do need any medical assistance, it is much easier for them to be treated in a boma than if they were out roaming around.
If all goes to plan, the females which are from a completely different reserve, and therefore completely new bloodlines, will be joining the males in the boma soon so that they can form bonds and create a cohesive pride.
|Young male fast asleep under sedation|
Exciting times here at Rhino River Lodge, and the competition is fierce between all the rangers at the different lodges situated inside the Zululand Rhino Reserve as to who will spot the lions out on game drive first!