News - 2014


June

30 Jun 2014. "Kebbel". The lack of movement by the Hunkap males (Xpl-81 & Xpl-87) during the past week was explained by the fact that they have been feeding on bait used for the trophy hunting of a leopard. Xpl-81 “Kebbel” was observed in the company of a young lioness.

29 Jun 2014. Hunkap Male. There was concern for Xpl-87, one of the two Hunkap males, after he walked past Elephant Song on 22 Jun 2014 where cattle herders were observed with rifles. After traveling another 12 km into the mountains to the southeast, Xpl-87 did not move more than 20 metres for the next six days. An effort was made to reach Xpl-87 in the mountainous terrain. Fresh tracks of the lion (photo: bottom right) were observed and with the help of the quad-copter the lion was spotted earlier this morning (photo: top right). Satellite movement data of the lions could not be accessed today due to an Internet server problem.

28 Jun 2014. Recovery. The Floodplain lioness (Xpl-69) recovered quickly from the anaesthetics and the pride remained in the same area for the rest of the day. The search for the Okongwe lions (Xpl-70) was continued.

27 Jun 2014. Faulty Collar. Xpl-69 of the Floodplain Pride was immobilised to remove a faulty satellite collar.

26 Jun 2014. Floodplain Pride. Wildlife numbers remain low in the area surrounding the lower Hoanib River and the Floodplain Pride have to walk long distances to find prey.

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25 Jun 2014. "Five Musketeers". The Floodplain Pride moved southwards to the Hoanib River. They were located and observed north of Amp’s Poort. The five sub-adult males (the “Musketeers”) were all present and they are in average condition.

24 Jun 2014. Cameras. The array of camera-traps along the Hoanib River provides valuable and accurate data on the movements of lions. The “Terrace Male” was captured on four different cameras during the past week.

23 Jun 2014. Hoanib. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) is spending more time in the Hoanib River than previously and moved from Auses to the Mudorib Junction.

22 Jun 2014. Elephants. A camera-trap at Ganias spring north of the Hoanib Floodplain captured images of two small breeding herds drinking at the spring during the past 3 weeks.

20/21 Jun 2014. East Wind. Strong and hot easterly winds are raging through the desert and up to the coastline.

18/19 Jun 2014. Swakopmund. With the assistance of Swakop Body Works the rear driveshaft was repaired and overhauled. Greensport donated a set of good quality field clothing made by Jonsson to the Desert Lion Project. Mannfred Laborn is thanked for the support. A young brown hyaena has been spotted close to Swakopmund during the past few weeks. One unsuccessful night was spent trying to observe the hyaena (photo: right).

17 Jun 2014. Repairs. The research vehicle is currently with Swakop Body Works for repairs to the rear driveshaft.

16 Jun 2014. Xpl-68. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) was located on the northern bank of the Hoanib Floodplain. He was hunting Oryx and giraffes during the time he was observed.

15 Jun 2014. Full Moon. Due to the broken driveshaft it has unfortunately not been possible to utilise the full moon to continue searching for the Okongwe lions. It has been a difficult task driving the vehicle, now essentially a 2x4, out of the difficult terrain.

14 Jun 2014. Driveshaft. The rear driveshaft of the field vehicle broke in the Okongwe Mountains. The driveshaft was removed (photos: left & middle) and efforts are now underway to drive the vehicle out of the mountainous terrain using only the front axle. The canvass organisers, donated by Caracal Leather & Canvas, have been integrated in the vehicle (photo: right).

13 Jun 2014. Okongwe-2. A large section of the Okongwe Mountains were covered in search of Xpl-71 & the Okongwe Pride. A camera-trap in the southern section of Okongwe revealed images of a young adult male lion (photo: left) and several photographs of brown hyaenas and ostriches. It was not possible to identify the male lion, but his tracks were followed to the Okongwe waterhole.

12 Jun 2014. Okongwe. An extensive search is underway in the Okongwe Mountains for Xpl-71 and the other Okongwe lions.

11 Jun 2014. "Musketeers". The Floodplain Pride killed an Oryx in the mountains to the south of Hoanib/Mudorib junction. All five sub-adult male (the “Musketeers”) were present and they are in good condition.

10 Jun 2014. Hoanib Camp. During the night the “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) walked through the construction site at the new Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Camp. He appeared to be searching for the Floodplain lionesses, but they had moved into the mountains to the southeast.

9 Jun 2014. Xpl-68. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) moved eastwards from the Hoanib Floodplain and was observed close to Amp’s Poort.

8 Jun 2014. Floodplain Pride. The seven lions of the Floodplain Pride were located south of the Hoanib River. They are all in good condition and were hunting a small herd of Oryx at sunset.

7 Jun 2014. Lion shot in Marienfluss. A young male lion was shot near the Kunene River in the Marienfluss. Camp Syncro kindly collected photographs of the lion and, using the vibrissae patterns (photo: top middle), he was identified as X71y11-2. The lion was 3.2 years old and was he was the son of Xpl-71 of the Okongwe Pride. The new Hoanib Camp of Wilderness Safaris is nearing completion (photos: top right & bottom).

6 Jun 2014. Floodplain. Images from the array of camera-traps on the Hoanib Floodplain during he past two weeks included the first record of a spotted hyaena in the western section of the Floodplain (photo: top left). Other carnivores included an African wild cat (top middle), black-backed jackals and brown hyaenas. There was also evidence that the ungulates species are returning to the area after the rains.

4/5 Jun 2014. Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser was collected after the service and repairs. The canvas covers and storage organisers, donated by Caracal Leather & Canvas, were mounted and the process of reinstalling and fitting all the equipment is still underway.

3 Jun 2014. Lion Movements. At midnight the “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) crossed the Ganias track on his way towards the Hoanib Floodplain (map: bottom left), but Xpl-73 “Rosh” was still lying amongst the Salvadora thickets at Elephant Song in the Hoanib River (map: bottom right).

2 Jun 2014. Lion Movements. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) and Xpl-73 “Rosh” have both moved away from the conflict areas where they have been “tempting fate” for the past few days.

1 Jun 2014. Land Cruiser. The service and repairs to the Land Cruiser is almost complete and it should be ready for fieldwork early next week. A substantial donation of canvas covers and storage organisers was received from Caracal Leather & Canvas. Armand Coetzee is thanked for making special designs to fit the research vehicle that provides ample packing space for all the equipment used in the field.