Lioness, wounded by buffalo, saved


This video from Kenya says about itself:

9 April 2014

Early on 4th April, a call was received from Governor’s Camp in the Maasai Mara about an injured lioness. She had a deep, open wound on her lower left flank, the result of an encounter with a buffalo.

The DSWT immediately launched its SkyVets Initiative; collecting a Kenya Wildlife Service Veterinarian and flying from Nairobi to the Mara. Once on the scene, the vet set about darting the lioness, whose wound was extensive.

In an operation that lasted 1 1/2 hrs, throughout which the rest of the pride were kept a safe distance, the vet thoroughly cleaned the wound before suturing it closed. Long lasting anti-biotic drugs were administered, as well as packing the wound with green clay, to speed the healing process. With that, Siena the lioness could rejoin the pride and her cubs.

Working together effectively and efficiently, the DSWT, KWS, Narok County Council and Governor’s Camp were able to help this lioness and with that, ensure the return of a mother to her cubs.

With Africa’s lions are under serious threat, with less than 35,000 remaining today, our ability to help this dominant pride member and her cubs is critically important.

Read the full account of the Siena’s treatment on our website, where you can also choose to support our SkyVets Initiative, here.

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Zebra escapes from five lions, video


This video says about itself:

Maasai Mara zebra escapes lion ambush

A pride of lions awaits a convenient meal as the striped animal leisurely crosses a river before it makes an amazing U-turn in the national reserve in Kenya

February 24, 2014 by David Strege

Maasai Mara zebra escapes lion ambush …

Along with its extraordinary population of lions, leopards, and cheetahs, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwest Kenya is known for the Great Migration of zebra, wildebeest, and Thomson’s gazelle to and from the Serengeti each year.

But one zebra recently found itself on a lonely journey as it leisurely crossed a wide river, not knowing what was awaiting its arrival on the other side. Watch what happens when the zebra finds out a welcoming party was anything but friendly:

The 100100Channel told GrindTV in an email that the video entitled “Zebra came to the wrong neighborhood” came from one of its company agents during a safari in The Mara but offered little other details, not that many more are needed.

The zebra was taking its time crossing the river. The camera pans back to reveal four lions hiding in the brush and another over-eager lion sneaking up close to the river behind a berm. The over-eager lion exposed its position too soon, sending the zebra on a hasty retreat back across the river from whence it came.

The zebra was actually lucky on two counts: It was lucky to avoid five hungry lions, and lucky that no crocodiles were nearby.

See also here.

Zebra stripes are striking and beautiful, but what purpose do they serve? Read more here.

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Two lion cubs in Lady Liuwa’s pride in Zambia


This video from Zambia says about itself:

The Last Lioness (Full Documentary) HD

11 dec 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.

From Wildlife Extra:

Two lion cubs for Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia

January 2014: For the first time in 10 years two lion cubs have been seen in Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia to a lioness introduced to the park in 2011.

It is believed that this is the lioness’s second set of cubs and that she probably lost her first set due to inexperience. The father of the cubs is the park’s only male lion. The lioness has hidden her new cubs in thick bush, making it difficult to photograph them.

The mother of the two newly born cubs was one of two young females introduced from Kafue National Park in 2011. Her sister was killed by a snare in 2012 and she, probably traumatised by this event, ran away towards Angola. In a dramatic rescue mission she was darted, airlifted back to the park, and placed in a fenced boma.

African Parks then took the decision to place Lady Liuwa, the park’s only surviving lioness from the mass trophy hunting that occurred in the 1990s, in the boma to encourage the two lionesses to bond. After two months the two lionesses were released back into the wilds and have since been inseparable.

Two male lions, which were introduced to Liuwa from Kafue in 2009, also headed towards Angola in mid-2012 and one was reportedly shot dead by villagers in Angola. His companion, who made it safely back to Liuwa is now the resident male in the pride and father of the two new cubs.

“We are overjoyed to have sighted the cubs and will closely monitor the new offspring to minimise threats to them,” said Liuwa Park Manager, Raquel Filgueiras. “The birth of the cubs will help safeguard the future of lions in Liuwa and strengthen the park’s tourism offering. It is an event in which all stakeholders including ZAWA, the BRE (Barotse Royal Establishment), the Liuwa communities and the park itself can be proud.”

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Good African elephant news


This video says about itself:

The Elephant Documentary

24 July 2013

Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae and the order Proboscidea. Traditionally, two species are recognised, the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), although some evidence suggests that African bush elephants and African forest elephants are separate species (L. africana and L. cyclotis respectively). Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. They are the only surviving proboscideans; extinct species include mammoths and mastodons. The largest living terrestrial animals, male African elephants can reach a height of 4 m (13 ft) and weigh 7,000 kg (15,000 lb). These animals have several distinctive features, including a long proboscis or trunk used for many purposes, particularly for grasping objects. Their incisors grow into tusks, which serve as tools for moving objects and digging and as weapons for fighting. The elephant’s large ear flaps help to control the temperature of its body. African elephants have larger ears and concave backs while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs.

Elephants are herbivorous and can be found in different habitats including savannahs, forests, deserts and marshes. They prefer to stay near water. They are considered to be keystone species due to their impact on their environments. Other animals tend to keep their distance, and predators such as lions, tigers, hyenas and wild dogs usually target only the young elephants (or “calves”).

Females (“cows”) tend to live in family groups, which can consist of one female with her calves or several related females with offspring. The latter are led by the oldest cow, known as the matriarch. Elephants have a fission-fusion society in which multiple family groups come together to socialise. Males (“bulls”) leave their family groups when they reach puberty, and may live alone or with other males. Adult bulls mostly interact with family groups when looking for a mate and enter a state of increased testosterone and aggression known as musth, which helps them gain dominance and reproductive success. Calves are the centre of attention in their family groups and rely on their mothers for as long as three years. Elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. They communicate by touch, sight, and sound; elephants use infrasound, and seismic communication over long distances. Elephant intelligence has been compared with that of primates and cetaceans. They appear to have self-awareness and show empathy for dying or dead individuals of their kind.

African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), while the Asian elephant is classed as endangered. One of the biggest threats to elephant populations is the ivory trade, as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks. Other threats to wild elephants include habitat destruction and conflicts with local people. Elephants are used as working animals in Asia. In the past they were used in war; today, they are often put on display in zoos and circuses. Elephants are highly recognisable and have been featured in art, folklore, religion, literature and popular culture.

From Wildlife Extra:

Elephant births at Zakouma National Park in Chad represent a big win against the poachers

January 2014: The birth of 21 elephant calves at Zakouma National Park in the Republic of Chad, one of the last strongholds for migratory herds of savannah elephants in the central African region, has been welcomed as a turnaround in the fortunes of the park’s beleaguered elephant herds.

Poaching had reduced the Park’s elephant population from 4,000 to 450 between 2006 and 2010, leaving the traumatised herd too stressed to breed. Although African Parks stabilised the population after it took over the management of Zakouma in 2010, only five calves were born between 2010 and 2013.

Rian Labuschagne, Zakouma’s Park Manager, said that a lion study they carried out around 2005 found that elephant calves made up 23 per cent of the big cats’ diet at that time. “It was a direct result of the then rampant poaching that left substantial numbers of calves orphaned and easy prey for the lions,” he said.

The flush of elephant calves sighted by Labuschagne and his team shortly before Christmas now changes the status of Zakouma’s elephant population from “stable” to a “definite increase in numbers” and is testimony to the success of the intensive anti-poaching strategy implemented from late 2010 by African Parks, a non-profit organisation that takes on total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.

Anti-poaching measures have included the year-round deployment of patrols and specialised anti-poaching technology in the extended elephant range, aerial support for patrols, the fitting of satellite collars to individual elephants and establishing a park-wide radio communication system. They have also implemented increased intelligence-gathering and a reward system for information. As a result, there has been no poaching of elephants in Zakouma for more than two years.

Labuschagne concluded: “We are thrilled that Zakouma’s elephant numbers are now growing but are mindful of the continual challenges that we face. At the moment we are implementing major new anti-poaching initiatives to combat ongoing threats that now include the deteriorating situation in the Central African Republic to the south of us.”

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West African lions in danger


This video is called Wild West African lion cub at the Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria eating a warthog.

From Wildlife Extra:

The West African Lion is dangerously close to extinction

January 2014: The African lion is facing extinction across the entire West African region reveals a paper authored by Panthera‘s Lion Program Survey Coordinator, Dr Philipp Henschel, and a team from West Africa, the UK, Canada and the United States.

The West African lion once ranged continuously from Senegal to Nigeria, but now, says the scientists, there are just 250 adult lions left in five countries; Senegal, Nigeria and a single trans-frontier population on the shared borders of Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso.

These results follow a massive survey effort that took six years and covered 11 countries where lions were presumed to exist in the last two decades.

Panthera’s President, Dr. Luke Hunter said: “Lions have undergone a catastrophic collapse in West Africa. The countries that have managed to retain them are struggling with pervasive poverty and very little funding for conservation.”

The West African lion is genetically distinct from the lions of in East and southern Africa.

“West African lions have unique genetic sequences not found in any other lions, including in zoos or captivity,” explained Dr. Christine Breitenmoser, the co-chair of the IUCN/SCC Cat Specialist Group, which determines the conservation status of wild cats around the world. “If we lose the lion in West Africa, we will lose a unique, locally adapted population found no-where else. It makes their conservation even more urgent.”

Lions have disappeared across Africa as human populations and their livestock herds have grown, competing for land with lions and other wildlife. Wild savannas are converted for agriculture and cattle, the lion’s natural prey is hunted out and lions are killed by pastoralists fearing the loss of their herds.

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Good rhino news from Zimbabwe


This video is called Black Rhino RAGE – Black Rhino ATTACK Male Lion | EXCLUSIVE Footage [Caught in the Act].

Among much bad rhino news … a bit of better news.

From Wildlife Extra:

Signs of recovery for Zimbabwe’s rhinos and plans for major reintroduction into Gonarezhou National Park

20 black rhinos to be reintroduced into Gonarezhou National Park

September 2013. 2013 has been a rather good year so far, as far as Zimbabwe’s rhinos are concerned. Nine animals are believed to have been poached, but there were 44 births (24 black and 20 white rhino) in the Lowveld alone. So overall there is growth in the Zimbabwean rhino population this year with poaching considerably reduced from previous years.

Steady growth

This means, there are now 620 rhinos in Zimbabwe (394 black and 226 white). White rhino have been on a steady rise but the black rhino population had been through a period of decline from mid 2007 through to mid 2009 due to heavy poaching. Translocations to remove rhinos from very vulnerable areas and on-going anti-poaching efforts have created an environment where steady population growth has been achieved over the last four years.

As encouraging and positive as this may sound, the situation is far from normal. Tremendous efforts are required to secure the future for the black Rhino in Zimbabwe and we think strategic rhino re-introductions may be necessary to continue establishing viable wild rhino populations in their natural habitat.

Gonarezhou National Park

Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) is the second largest protected area in Zimbabwe after Hwange National Park, covering an area of 5,053 km2 of the southeast lowveld, sharing an international boundary with Mozambique. GNP, which has been part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) since 2002, lies within the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA). GNP contains many animals of conservation significance, some which are considered rare in Zimbabwe; e.g. pangolin, bat-eared fox, African wild dog, roan antelope and nyala, among the larger mammals.

Rhino became extinct twice!

GNP is probably one of the few protected areas where black rhino went locally extinct twice – first, sometime during the late 1930′s or 1940′s due to sport hunting, poaching and conflict with an expanding agriculture sector and human population. A second extinction occurred when a population of 77 founder rhinos, reintroduced in 1969-71, went locally extinct in 1994 after reaching a population peak in excess of 100 animals. This second extinction was mainly due to poaching and the 1991/92 drought.

Reintroducing black rhinos

Primary objective is to re-introduce founder populations of black (and possibly white rhino) which will be the start of the re-establishment of a free ranging rhino population in the Gonarezhou National Park. The IUCN guidelines demand that a founder population of at least 20 animals is required. As the GNP is a new reintroduction area with relatively high risks involved, it is suggested the first phase be not more than 20 black rhinos.

Intensive protection

After releasing the animals from their bomas they would still be secured by internal fences in order to encourage them to establish their ranges in safe areas, as well as being able to focus security efforts. These fences will be low and of such a nature that they do not inhibit the movements of other animals, including elephants, but will be directly targeted at keeping the rhino inside a safe zone. This kind of fence has been successfully used in North Luangwa, Zambia, to contain relocated rhino. The fence will also create an environment where a ‘no tolerance’ zone for law enforcement effort can be applied. We call this an IPZ, an Intensive Protection Zone.

Transmitters

All reintroduced rhinos will need to be implanted with Very High Frequency (VHF) transmitters so they can be monitored effectively and efficiently, but it is important that the monitoring system is not solely based on the radio transmitters. The transmitters, just like the internal fences, will be a temporary measure only and the long term aim is for a monitoring system based on tracking. The initial monitoring will be done from the air until the animals are settled into their new environment and from then on the tracking will be largely based on ground tracking with only sporadic air tracking. Good monitors with excellent tracking skills will have to be trained to ensure an acceptable level of monitoring expertise in GNP is in place. The transmitters will assist with recovery when an animal breaks out of the fence at the early stages of the project.

600 kilometre2 boma!

The estimated size of the proposed rhino Intensive Protection Zone is approximately 600 km2. The ideal time for a translocation will be in the cooler months of the year (June-August) for the capture and transport of the animals. However, it may be best to release the rhinos somewhat later in the year (October/November) so that they do not experience a prolonged dry season period before the wet season browse flush, while they are still settling into the area.

The proposed GNP IPZ faces 3 significant challenges:

number of rangers
management of the rangers
standard of rangers.

Extra rangers required

The Chipinda Pools sector in the north of GNP covers about 3000 km2 and Mabalauta in the south covers approximately 2000km2. There are currently only 33 rangers available for patrols at Chipinda Pools and 25 rangers for patrols in Mabalauta. However, we will at least need 55 and 45 rangers respectively for Chipinda Pools and Mabalauta. Once this is achieved a total of 25 additional rangers for the IPZ will be adequate to secure the rhinos if all the rangers (including Chipinda Pools and Mabalauta) are of the required standard and managed effectively. It is very important that all the rangers have the same goals and objectives and that is to secure the Gonarezhou National Park and with that a free ranging rhino and elephant population. We need professional rangers who are well trained and motivated. Therefore a careful selection of rangers on Gonarezhou needs to take place well before the reintroduction of the first rhinos.

We know our plans are ambitious and demand a lot of hard work and financial means, but we are convinced it will be worth it. We want to make sure that there is a future for rhinos in Zimbabwe. They should live where they belong, which of course includes Gonarezhou National Park.

Zebras, impalas to Ugandan wildlife reserve


This video is called UGANDA WILDLIFE ON NILE RIVER. It says about itself:

On a boat on Kazinga Channel in Uganda, August 2011…some lions, hippos and crocodiles.

From Wildlife Extra:

Uganda translocates zebra and impala to boost Katonga Wildlife Reserve

Zebras, Impalas translocated to Katonga Wildlife Reserve

August 2013. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has completed the first phase of the restocking of Katonga Wildlife Reserve, which is part of the Kibale Conservation Area in Western Uganda, with zebras and impalas. The wildlife translocated to Katonga was captured from the ranches around Lake Mburo National Park in July 2013.

According to Dr. Patrick Atimnedi, the Veterinary Coordinator of the UWA, the next phase will see translocation of more zebras, elands and topis.

Katonga Wildlife Reserve

Katonga Wildlife Reserve is a national park in western Uganda, along the banks of River Katonga. It protects a network of forest-fringed wetlands along the Katonga River. Best explored by foot and by canoe, it is home to more than forty species of mammals and one hundred and fifty species of birds; many of them specific to wetland habitats.

Commonly sighted in the wetland reserve are elephant, waterbuck, reedbuck, colobus monkeys and river otters. Also found in this habitat is the shy Sitatunga, a semi-aquatic antelope with webbed hooves.

The Chief Conservation Area manager, Charles Tumwesigye says this has been the first translocation exercise done by UWA without external support.

October 2013. Uganda’s lions, a mainstay of the country’s tourism industry, are on the verge of disappearing from the country’s national parks according to conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of St. Andrews: here.