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Default 08-13-2012, 05:57 PM



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Default 08-14-2012, 03:16 AM

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Default 08-15-2012, 10:43 PM



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Default 08-17-2012, 12:42 AM

David vs Goliath: Lion cubs get caught in Etosha traffic!

By Guest Blogger on 1 August, 2012in Wildlife & Safaris





By Matthew Weaver
Working as a guide in the bush, one gets the opportunity to experience unbelievable wildlife sights. But in three years guiding I have never seen anything like what we saw that fated afternoon in Etosha National Park.
Four of us in our Cameron Pet Food sponsored land rover (Dorris), representing Project Rhino KZN on the Put Foot Rally 2012. To bump into this particular lioness on a one day, whistle stop tour, in a 22 270 sq km reserve just before she disappeared into the endless grassy plains has to involve a certain amount of luck. Add three minute cubs, a nosey black-backed jackal, two trigger-happy game viewers filled with long lensed Japanese tourists, a taxi and a huge delivery truck and you got yourself one interesting sighting.
I spotted a lioness walking through a huge grassy plain towards the road. We stopped short of her so as not to block her path and switched off the engine. When we got the binocs on her, we noticed that she was in full lactation and whats more she seemed very anxious. This is when I heard it first, a squeaky call that could only mean one thingÖ cubs!
Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

The lioness confirmed our suspicions by turning around and letting out a low, throaty oomph contact call. She started crossing the road and the tiniest little ball of fur stumbled out onto the road behind her. It then saw us and proceeded to stumble towards us, this may well have been the first time they had ever seen vehicles and werenít sure how to react to them.
Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

One even crawled within a few meters of us to get a closer look at our exhaust pipe. All the while the lioness was becoming more and more anxious and frantic due to the wayward nature of her three delinquent cubs. Whats more, she was on the busiest road in Etosha and had caused a medium sized conglomeration of intimidating spectators. She decided that this was all too much and her cubs were too overwhelmed to follow her to safety on their own feet. So she picked one up ever so gently with jaws that crack buffalo bones and carried it off into the plain.
MUM! Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

Meanwhile her other wayward cub decided it was a good idea to investigate a massive delivery truck, which gave us a great perspective as to how tiny they actually were. This did not comfort mom however, who frantically ran over to it, swatted flat, picked it up and deposited it in the relative protection of the plainís long grass. One cub still remained between her and the gauntlet of vehicles which bothered her a lot.
Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

T
Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

he madness escalated when a black backed jackal arrived on the scene and showed interest in one of the cubs. The lioness was now torn between fetching her remaining cub near the vehicles, defending the other from the jackal and consoling the other one milling blind in the grass.
Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

Photo copyright Matthew Weaver

The mood in our vehicle varied from awe and amazement to fear and nervousness and finally guilt. It was time for us to get out of here, clearly all the spectating vehicles were impacting on this poor mother. The last thing we wanted was to have the death of one of these cubs on our hands. The problem was to convince all the other vehicles that our presence wasnít helping the lionessí predicament and that it would be best if we all gave her some space. The private tourist vehicles saw our point and agreed to move off but it was the game viewers full of Japanese tourists that were the challenge. The guides half agreed and switched their engines on but thatís as far as they went. Itís tricky trying to convince a local guide, whoís probably been guiding since we were in school, that we know whatís best. With mixed emotions we left we the sighting, hoping that the lioness recovered her remaining cub and that she reunited with the pride.

http://blog.africageographic.com/saf...tosha-traffic/


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Default 08-17-2012, 07:08 AM

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