The Aub Pride

Xpl-35 - DEAD Xpl-65

22 Oct 2013. Mortality of Xpl-35 confirmed. After searching the Huab River area for three days the remains of the adult male (Xpl-35) was found northeast of Peter’s Pool (see 2 photos: bottom left). Based on the state of decomposition and several other indicators, the lion died sometime between 20 and 27 Sep 2013. Rainfall and severe winds during the past month obliterated most of the tracks and other signs and it was not possible to determine the cause of death. However, Xpl-35 was in a good condition and the cause of death was most probably of a violent nature. It is unfortunate that two adult male lions (including Xpl-77) died within the space of a week. Xpl-35 had a colourful history. He was born in Jan 2000 and held tenures over three different prides: the Agab Pride, Aub Pride and lately the Huab Pride (see photos below).

2 Sep 2013. Surprise in the Huab River. The mystery of the male lion that displaced the "Terrace Male" (Xpl-68) from his pride in the Huab River during Aug 2012 has been solved. The lion was tracked and spotted in the Huab River east of Peter's Pool. During the night he was darted whilst feeding on an Oryx carcass. To great surprise the male was identified as Xpl-35. He was last observed with the Aub Pride in June 2011 when his radio collar failed and he could not be located again. Xpl-35 is 14 years of age and currently the oldest male in the Desert lion population. He is in good condition and his teeth show remarkably little wear. Xpl-35 was fitted with a new VHF radio collar.

10 Feb 2009. In August 2008 Xpl-35 and another male (Xpl-33) killed the Ugab male ("Miles" or Xpl-16) in the lower part of the Ugab River (see GPS collar–Ugab Male for full details). Xpl-35 was tracked down and darted in the Ugab River on 27 Aug 2008 and fitted with a GPS collar. It was assumed at that stage that the incident was part of a pride take-over and that the two new males would remain in the Ugab area. About two weeks after the darting, Xpl-35 disappeared and despite extensive searching could not be located. Almost six months later, on 6 Feb 2009, Xpl-35 was found in the Springbok River and he data from his GPS collar was downloaded. The results were astonishing and totally unexpected. As much as the data shed new light on the movements of lions in the southern section of their range, it raised even more questions.

May 2001 - Xpl-35 & siblings in Barab River
First darting - Dec 2005
July 2006 - Khoabis River

After killing Xpl-16 in the Ugab River, Xpl-35 was darted and fitted with a GPS collar on 27 Aug 2008.

Real-time animations
The movement patterns of the Xpl-35 are presented below using Flash animations to represent real-time events. Click on the PLAY button to start the animation. The timeline is constant at 2.5 seconds per day (24 hrs). When the red dot moves quickly across the screen, it accurately represents the speed at which the lion covered vast distances. A summary of the actual distances traveled per day is listed in a separate table.

Period: 10 - 24 June 2009. The scale of map has been changed to accommodate current movements.

Date
Distance (km)
10/06/09
6.7
11/06/09
3.1
12/06/09
10.6
13/06/09
3.9
14/06/09
4.5
15/06/09
10.1
16/06/09
1.8
17/06/09
5.4
18/06/09
2.1
19/06/09
14.3
20/06/09
21.2
21/06/09
10.5
22/06/09
2.1
23/06/09
10.2
24/06/09
14.0

Earlier animations of Xpl-35

2009
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
2008
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