News - 2013



NEW ! Locations of lions. Torra: Huab Pride & Agab Pride. Sesfontein/Purros: Hoanib Pride. & Nomadic: Terrace Male, Dorop Male (Xpl-77).
* Notice * Desert Lion Talk, Cape Town, 8 Mar 2013 (see Funding for details).

31 Jan 2013. No Entry. A “No Entry” sign, donated by TOSCO, was mounted at the border of the Skeleton Coast Park in the Hoanib River. The “Terrace Male” has now moved the furthest south towards the Huab River since 7 Aug 2012, when the left the area.

30 Jan 2013. Hoanib floods. The array of camera-traps along the Hoanib Floodplain revealed that the floodwaters (mentioned on 14 Jan 2013) reached the eastern edge of the Floodplain at 21h00 on 10 Jan 2013 (photo: bottom left). The floodwaters penetrated deep into the Floodplain, but dissipated approximately 5 km east of Auses spring. The “Terrace Male” walked all the way down to the Koigab River. A new map will be made and uploaded later today.

29 Jan 2013. Hoanib lions. The lioness shot near Sesfontein after killing a donkey was Xpl-57. She was the daughter of “Bianca” (Xpl-47) that “disappeared” for almost two years when her radio collar malfunctioned (see News 30 Jun 2012 for more details). When Xpl-57 was shot she was lactating and had 3 small cubs. An enormous effort was made to locate the cubs during the past 4 days, but spotted hyaenas most probably killed them. Three sub-adult lions of the Hoanib Pride were located near the Mudorib River.

28 Jan 2013. Movement updates. See above.

27 Jan 2013. Hoanib lioness. The “Terrace Male” moved up the Uniab River, but he is heading back to the Uniab Delta after walking 32 km during the night. Location data are now available for the “Dorob Male” (Xpl-77). An assessment of the shooting of a Hoanib lioness continues.

26 Jan 2013. Huab to Hoanib. The Huab River was scanned for signs of other lions, but none were found. An incident where a lioness was shot after killing livestock in the Hoanib River near Sesfontein is being investigated.

25 Jan 2013. "Dorob Male". Xpl-77 (“Victor”) was located in the Ugab River close to the border of the Skeleton Coast Park. He was darted and fitted with a satellite radio collar. After the dart was fired, Xpl-77 disappeared into the mountains. An extensive search was launched and eventually by a pure a stroke of luck he was found amongst the rocks. An electrical problem on the vehicle may prevent updates to the website for the next few days. 14h00 - movement updates have now been posted.

24 Jan 2013. TOSCO. It is encouraging to notice that, unlike a few years ago when people regularly entered the Skeleton Coast Park illegally at the Huab River, tourists and tour operators are now respecting the border of the Park. The vast majority of recent vehicle tracks turn around at the “No Entry” sign in the southern tributary to the Huab River. Someone also went to the trouble of fixing the sign. It may not be a coincidence that the Huab River is regularly used by members of TOSCO, who recently sponsored “No Entry” signboards to the Ministry of Environment & Tourism (See News 21 Dec 2012). The tracks of an adult male lion were spotted west of the Ugab SRT Camp.

23 Jan 2013. Huab River. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) consumed an adult Oryx carcass within 24 hours. At 05h45 this morning he moved away, leaving only a few bones and the scull as evidence of the event. The search for the “Dorob Male” (Xpl-77) was continued from the mouth of the Huab River towards Gai-Ais spring and the Ugab River.

22 Jan 2013. Xpl-68 feeding on Oryx. The “Terrace Male” captured an Oryx near the Uniab Delta.

21 Jan 2013. Uniab Delta. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) reached the Uniab Delta yesterday morning at 09h45. Several tourists and some of the local staff at Torra Bay were fortunate to view the lion lying on a hummock near the ocean (see images below).

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20 Jan 2013. Searching for the "Dorob Male". Efforts are underway to locate and fit a new satellite radio collar to the Dorob Male (Xpl-77 or “Victor”). His tracks were observed in the lower Ugab River a few days ago. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) walked 63 km during the past 24 hours and is heading for the Uniab Delta via the lower Hunkap River.

19 Jan 2013. Movement updates. See above.

18 Jan 2013. Movement updates. See above.

17 Jan 2013. Swakopmund. A few days in Swakopmund has become necessary to attend to logistical needs, website modifications and funding. Photographs downloaded from a camera-trap on the Hoanib Floodplain (three days ago) included several images of a brown hyaena carrying a rather large carcass (photos: below left & middle). It was not possible to identify the carcass. The same camera also recorded a small spotted genet.

16 Jan 2013. Xpl-68 on Floodplain. The “Terrace Male” remained on the Hoanib Floodplain and started moving eastwards at midnight. See bottom of News page for a summary map of visitors to the website.

15 Jan 2013. Xpl-68 heading for lionesses. The “Terrace Male” reached the Hoanib Floodplain, via the Hunkap spring, yesterday morning and he is now moving westwards towards the Floodplain lionesses.

14 Jan 2013. Floodplain Lionesses. The Floodplain Pride is still in the area to the southwest of Oasis spring. Because of the difficult terrain, it was not possible to dart one of the lionesses to fit a satellite collar. There is a risk that the lioness could run into a reed thicket. The Hoanib River came down in flood and, depending on the volume of water, the Hoanib Floodplain may not be accessible for several months.

13 Jan 2013. Floodplain Camera-traps. The three Floodplain lionesses were captured by two camera-traps mounted in the Hoanib Floodplain.

12 Jan 2013. Floodplain Pride. The wind-blown tracks of three lionesses were spotted near the Mowe Bay airfield. The tracks were followed for many kilometres over rough terrain of hummocks and sand dunes. Eventually Xpl-10 and the Floodplain lionesses with their five male cubs (the “Five Musketeers”) were located 4 km south of Oasis spring. All five cubs are still alive. Although they were fully fed there were signs that they have been food stressed. The three lionesses, however, are in good condition.

11 Jan 2013. Monitoring the “Terrace Male". Xpl-68 remained in the vicinity of the Uniab Delta and his movements are being monitored. At 03h30 this morning Xpl-68 started moving northwards towards the Hoanib River.

10 Jan 2013. The “Terrace Male” in Perspective. Several tourists and local staff were fortunate to view and photograph the “Terrace Male” today. Even the road construction team saw the lion on a few occasions. The series of photographs below were taken as a grader drove past Xpl-68. A summary of the available facts relevant to Xpl-68 as a problem animal at the Uniab Delta is available under Xpl-68 Summary.

9 Jan 2013. Xpl-68 next to road. The “Terrace Male” is feeding on an Oryx carcass approximately 40 metres from the main road to Terrace Bay. The carcass is lying behind a gravel heap left by the recent road works and as a result the vast majority of vehicles passing by during the day were unaware of the lion.

8 Jan 2013. Fundraiser in Cape Town. A fundraising event for the Desert Lion Project will be held in Cape Town on 8 Mar 2013. See Funding for more details. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) was still at the same location at 12h00.

8 Jan 2013. Xpl-68 remains at Uniab Delta. The “Terrace Male” is still at the Uniab Delta. During the night he captured another Oryx at a spring close to the main road, but he dragged to carcass into the reeds and cannot be seen from the road. The authorities were informed of his location.

7 Jan 2013. Xpl-68. The movements of the “Terrace Male” and his recent visits to the Uniab Delta are continuing to raise concern.

6 Jan 2013. Guarding Xpl-68. The “Terrace Male” has remained at his Oryx carcass in the reeds near the mouth of the Uniab River. He was visible only on a few occasions and fed on the carcass at night. At 09h00 this morning he started moving north again.

5 Jan 2013. Public Safety. With the return of the “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) to the Uniab Delta, the authorities and management at Torra Bay expressed concern for the safety of visitors camping at Torra Bay. Although it is unlikely that Xpl-68 will approach people or the campsite, it was decided to monitor Xpl-68 and the situation at the Uniab Delta. The search for the Floodplain lionesses and their five male cubs will be continued later.

4 Jan 2013. Xpl-68 at Uniab Delta. The “Terrace Male” reached the Uniab Delta at 03h00 this morning. He captured an Oryx near the main road and dragged the carcass across the road into a thick patch of reeds.

3 Jan 2013. Xpl-68. The “Terrace Male” is heading down to the Uniab River (see movement updates above).

2 Jan 2013. Updates. The current locations of the satellite-collared lions are available at the above-mentioned links. Additions to the website to include the new calendar year is in progress.

30 Dec 2012 / 1 Jan 2013. Huab Pride. The Huab lioness has moved to the Long Dune near Slangpos.