Zambian lioness Lady Liuwa update


This video from Zambia says about itself:

The Last Lioness (Full Documentary) HD

Dec 11, 2011

A haunting call echoes across the Liuwa Plain. There is no answer, there hasn’t been for years. She has no pride, no support – she alone must safeguard her own survival. Her name is Lady Liuwa, and she is the Last Lioness. Isolated by a scourge of illegal trophy hunting that wiped out the rest of her species in the region, Lady Liuwa is the only known resident lion surviving on Zambia’s Liuwa Plain. For four years, cameraman Herbert Brauer watched her lonely life unfold, until, in her solitude, she reached out to him for companionship.

All rights belong to The National Geographic Society.

From Wildlife Extra:

Lady Liuwa update – Surviving lions have formed a small pride

Male and young lioness mating regularly

January 2013. After the younger of the 2 new lionesses was killed in a snare in June 2012, the second new lioness left the park and headed towards Angola. She was captured just before she crossed the border, and a decision was taken to put Lady Liuwa and the young lioness in a holding boma for several weeks. The decision proved to have been a wise one, and the two lionesses were released in October having bonded together well.

The lioness bonded well, and Lady was quick to establish her dominance over the young lioness (who in turn has shown appropriate submission) but has been tolerant, allowing the youngster to share wildebeest carcasses with her. Apart from a few growls at meal times, there has thankfully been no real aggression.

Wandering males leads to a lion death

On an unfortunate note, the two males (introduced into Liuwa in 2009) wandered north-west out of the park, with satellite tracking of the one collared male showing that he strayed 40 kilometres into Angola before doing a U-turn and hurrying back to the park. The second male did not return to the park and subsequent reports from local communities indicated that he had been killed in Angola after straying close to a village. The coalition of these two magnificent males was a stirring sight on the Liuwa plain and the loss is tragic.

Mating

Happier news ensued as the remaining male teamed up with Lady Liuwa and the young lioness, and the three have been co-existing as a unit ever since. The male and young lioness have been seen mating in November and there are hopes for cubs in 2013.

Liuwa National Park is managed by African Parks. African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. African Parks currently manages seven parks in six African countries – Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Zambia. The total area under management covers 4.1 million hectares, an area as large as The Netherlands.

67 thoughts on “Zambian lioness Lady Liuwa update

  1. As far as SoundEagle knows, there are only about 50,000 of lions left and confined to six colonies, and only four of which have long-term viability.

    African lions may have already crossed the threshold of inevitable decline leading to eventual extinction.

    In the cat family, SoundEagle would like to state that the case with lion is special for the following reasons:
    (1) The lion exhibits the highest degree of sexual dimorphism.

    (2) The lion is the only truly social and gregarious cat living in a pride or group, raising their young and hunting together.

    (3) The male lion takes part in raising the young.

    (4) The demise of the male(s) in a group will lead to the young being killed by new male(s) taking over the group.

    (5) The lions usually live in open plains and savannas.

    All of the above combined have caused the lions to be more visible. And hence the lions are targets for hunters and poachers (especially trophy hunters who desire male lions with large manes as specimens). Living in a group also means that diseases could spread faster and affect more individuals. Also, humans tend to overestimate the number of lions still living due to the high visibility and gregarious nature of lions.

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