Emsegwen female

January 2006

The large lioness (Emsegwen female) was seen on one occasion on the KNP break south of Clarendon Dam. She still appeared to be lactating.


December 2005

One old, large lioness, the Emsegwen female, was seen only once north of Buffalo Bush Dam and appeared to be lactating and generally in good health as she continues to defy the odds and survive on her own, well beyond the expected longevity of any female lion.


April / May 2005

EMSAGWEN PRIDE
1 LIONESS (APPROXIMATELY 18 YEARS)

The old Emsagwen lioness has not been seen for a few months, but she could pitch up at any time, most likely in the north-eastern corner of the reserve.


January / February / March 2005

EMSAGWEN PRIDE
1 LIONESS (APPROXIMATELY 18 YEARS)

No confirmed sightings in January.


December 2004

EMSAGWEN PRIDE
1 LIONESS (APPROXIMATELY 17 YEARS)

There were two sightings during December, on consecutive days, of the single old lioness of the Emsagwen Pride. Characteristically, she was a little edgy of vehicles when first approached, but soon settled down to accept them. Her canines are quite worn, as would be expected with such an old lioness, but her overall condition is still remarkably good. She is clearly successful as a hunter, and being solitary, she does not have to compete with other lions once she makes a kill. It is unlikely that she will ever have another litter of cubs, but she could still have a few good years in her. We hope so!


November 2004

EMSAGWEN PRIDE
1 LIONESS (APPROXIMATELY 17 YEARS)

The old Emsagwen lioness was not seen this month.


October 2004

EMSAGWEN PRIDE = 1
1 LIONESS                                                                * 17 YEARS

Location: NORTH-EASTERN EYREFIELD

There were no confirmed sightings of the old Emsagwen lioness during October, but a lioness seen in the company of an adult male lion, might well have been her.


September 2004

EMSAGWEN PRIDE = 1
1 LIONESS                                                                * approximately 17 YEARS

Location: NORTH-EASTERN EYREFIELD

The old Emsagwen lioness, which made a surprise return in August, was not seen during the September game report period.


August 2004

EMSAGWEN PRIDE = 1
1 LIONESS                                                                

Location: NORTH-EASTERN EYREFIELD

The biggest surprise of the year so far has been the re-appearance of the old Emsagwen Pride lioness, seen on two occasions in the north-east of the reserve.   This large lioness is at least 17 years old, and has for a long time hunted alone.   She disappeared about two years ago, when the Clarendon Pride started spending a fair amount of time in her old hunting grounds, and there was good reason to believe that this pride had killed her.

For a 17-year old lioness, the Emsagwen Female is certainly impressive, and she still appears to be in very good condition. On one occasion she was seen digging determinedly into a warthog burrow in a termite mound, but her efforts were not rewarded with a meal. Lionesses have been known to live past 20 years in captivity, and there is no reason why a large, strong lioness like the Emsagwen Female should not reach such an age in the wild.


May 2002 - July 2004

Location: NE EYREFIELD

No confirmed sightings of this old lioness this month


April 2002

Location: NE EYREFIELD

There was perhaps one sighting of the lone Emsagwen Pride lioness - a single lioness following the large herd of buffalo close to the northeastern parts of the reserve. Unfortunately the identification of the lioness could not be confirmed.


March 2002
No confirmed sightings of the lone lioness of the Emsagwen Pride this month.
February 2002

Location: SE EYREFIELD

There were several sightings of this old lioness, all within less than a week of each other and all within an area considered prime Emsagwen Pride territory. This area is certainly used by others too, but the old Emsagwen lioness still maintains herself within it. Observations this month suggested that she may well be pregnant. Towards the end of November last year, a sighting of the Emsagwen lioness had her soliciting amongst the four male lions which have recently moved into the northeastern parts of Mala Mala. Although no matings were seen, they could have occurred and if successful, cubs could be expected in early or mid-March.


January 2002

Location: SE EYREFIELD/ NE MALA MALA

The lone lioness of the Emsagwen Pride was seen at least twice this month, once with one of the young males of the coalition of four which have entered the area in which she typically resides. The next few months will prove interesting if the Emsagwen lioness is perhaps pregnant, a mating potentially having taken place towards the end of November.


December 2001
There were two sightings of the old Emsagwen lioness, sole representative of the Emsagwen Pride, this month. In the first sighting towards the beginning of this report-period, the lioness was together with four young males which appear to be taking over at least part of the territory vacated by the Mlowathi Males several months ago. Whilst the lions were resting up - all with full bellies - two of the West Street Males appeared on the scene. To cut a long story short, the West Street Males were routed, this amidst a great deal of roaring and snarling. Whilst this was happening, the lioness vanished, wanting no part of the fight. As reluctant as the Emsagwen lioness appears in accepting male lions, she would no doubt benefit more from the young males than the ageing West Street Males. The second encounter with the Emsagwen lioness was more typical - all alone and looking quite content. One wonders what will happen now that young males seem to have moved into her area and have already sought her out. Will she have one last go at producing babies so that her family line continues, or is it already too late?
November 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location :CENTRAL EYREFIELD

There was one confirmed sighting of the Emsagwen Pride lioness this month. At the time she was hunting zebra and impala. Compared with groups of lions, a lone lioness could be expected to have a lower success rate in making kills. However, on the plus side, whenever a kill is made, there would not be the need to share - unless of course some competition arrives on the scene. Towards the end of this game report period there was a single sighting of a lone lioness with four young male lions to the northeast of the reserve. The lioness was potentially the Emsagwen Pride lioness and she was flirting with one of the males. With the West Street Males making inroads into the same part of the reserve worked by the Emsagwen lioness, she will no doubt feel some pressure and it will be interesting to see if she accepts these aging lions, particularly given her last three years of isolation and the fact that younger male lions are also in the area.


October 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location : SE EYREFIELD

(NOT SEEN THIS MONTH)


September 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: SE EYREFIELD
(NOT SEEN THIS MONTH)


August 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: SE EYREFIELD

There were two sightings on successive days of the old Emsagwen lioness. She is still looking in really good condition in spite of her advancing age and the fact that she has to hunt and defend her kills alone. This month she was discovered with the remains of a warthog kill close to a watering hole along the Matshapiri River. The following day she was some distance away and the kill was finished. Hyaena tracks in the area suggested that these scavengers might have moved in to steal the remains. This defence of kills would of course be a major worry for a lone lioness. With many of the water holes in the area in which the Emsagwen lioness resides still active, she probably has a relatively easy time finding enough to eat.


July 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE MALA MALA

No sightings of the lone representative of the Emsagwen Pride this month.


June 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE Eyrefield

There was a single sighting of the old lioness and sole representative of the Emsagwen Pride this month. She was doing nothing extraordinary and although lean looking appeared in good health.


May 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: SE EYREFIELD/ NW MALA MALA

There were no confirmed sightings of the single lionesses of the Emsagwen Pride this month.


April 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE MALA MALA

The two encounters with the Emsagwen lioness during April confirmed last month's sightings that she is no longer lactating. Such a speedy loss of cubs and her advancing age - although she is still in fine condition - probably spell the end of any hopes that there will be lions of her genetics to take over from her when she dies.


March 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE MALA MALA

The single sighting of the Emsagwen lioness was towards the end of March and, unhappily, it appeared as if she was no longer lactating. When seen some weeks prior to this all indications were that she had given birth to a litter of cubs, her first in over three years.


February 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE MALA MALA

The single sighting of the Emsagwen lioness was the first in several weeks. The big news of this encounter was the fact that she was lactating and was last seen disappearing into an inhospitable series of gullies along the upper reaches of the Matshapiri River where in past years she has been known to hide her cubs. Whatever youngsters she has represent her only litter in almost three years and present a slim chance for her genes to continue. Not only will a single lioness face an uphill battle raising cubs, but at the same time the Emsagwen lioness is getting old and so will have this to contend with as well. All that can be hoped for is that luck will smile upon her. It is highly likely that one of the Mlowathi Males fathered the cubs.


January 2001

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE MALA MALA

No sightings of the lone representative of the Emsagwen Pride this month.


December 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE MALA MALA

No sightings of the lone representative of the Emsagwen Pride this month.


November 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE MALA MALA

The single sighting of the sole representative of the Emsagwen Pride was not pretty and involved this lioness feeding off the very rottern remains of a sub adult rhino carcass. It is not certain what caused the rhino to die, but being a dedicated protein feeder in an environment where all such food is precious, the Emsagwen lioness was not going to pass up the opportunity. She was joined by the three Mlowathi Males and together the four consumed a great deal of the carcass. The lions did not bother to finish all of the meat and left much of it to a half-dozen hyaenas.


October 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE EYREFIELD

The single sighting of the Emsagwen Pride lioness during October was of her staring longingly towards the large herd of buffalo which had wandered past some waterholes near which she was lying. As could be expected, nothing came of this and the buffalo were probably not even aware of her presence. This encounter was towards the middle of October, perhaps two-and-a-half months after the Emsagwen lioness was seen mating with one of the Mlowathi Males. However, there was no sign that she was pregnant.


September 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE EYREFIELD

The single sighting of the lioness of the Emsagwen Pride was of her staring longingly at the large herd of buffalo as these large creatures ambled past her. As could be expected, she wisely made no moves upon them. As has been the situation over the last few years, this old lioness appeared to be in peak health.


August 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE EYREFIELD

No sightings this month.


July 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NE EYREFIELD

There were two sightings of the lone lioness and sole representative of the Emsagwen Pride this month and both were dramatic. At the first encounter, this lioness was found trying to fight off one of the young Styx Pride lionesses which, together with two young males of the Styx Pride, were eating from a freshly killed buffalo carcass. Although the Emsagwen Pride lioness gave a good account of herself and left the Styx lioness with some deep scratches, she couldn't fight her way towards the kill and left the area. The buffalo had been killed in an area deep inside what has always been Emsagwen Pride territory but which up until now has been heavily raided by other stronger families, particularly the Styx Pride. Although the Emsagwen Female has the will to defend, the very fact that she is alone will always be a disadvantage. However, perhaps in response to this, the next sighting of the Emsagwen lioness was of her mating. This has been her first known mating in over two years and hopefully will not be too late. It has frequently been speculated that since she has not been mating and is now no longer a young lioness, that this will be the end of the Emsagwen Pride. However, this may now not be the case and a new generation may be on the way to carry the genes through. However, given the roller-coaster existence of lions, hopes should not be too high. It is not known if the male lion which was mating with her is one of the two which now dominates the north western parts of the reserve, or is one of a pair which have been seen in the very north-eastern areas.


June 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: EASTERN MALA MALA/ MALA MALA-FLOCKFIELD BOUNDARY

Compared with last month when there were several sightings of the lone lioness of the Emsagwen Pride, June delivered no encounters. Given her status and area of occupation this is not surprising.


May 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: EASTERN MALA MALA/ MALA MALA-FLOCKFIELD BOUNDARY

As has been suggested during the months of lack of sightings of the sole member of the Emsagwen Pride, this lioness has been most adequately looking after herself. The greatest problem facing her would not be, it is suspected, the catching of prey, but the keeping of the food once it has been caught. This has been seen several times in the past few years when she has had to share her prey, unwillingly, with other lions, or even abandon it to hyaenas. This month the lioness of the Emsagwen Pride was found with a young female kudu which she had killed. In this instance the food had been well concealed from scavengers and she had the luxury of at least three days of feeding - with a 'normal' pride of lions, such a sized meal would last probably less than an hour before being completed. The great tragedy with this most efficient lioness is the fact that she is fast approaching the end of her life; although she still appears in good health, she is probably close to fifteen years of age, a time when most lions can consider every day as a bonus.


February / March / April 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NORTH EASTERN MALA MALA

No confirmed sightings of the single representative of the Emsagwen Pride over the last three months.


January 2000

1 ADULT FEMALE

Location: NORTH EASTERN MALA MALA

There was but a single confirmed sighting of the lone representative of the Emsagwen Pride, this when she was actively hunting impala.


MalaMala Game Reserve, PO Box 55514, Northlands, 2116, South Africa.
Telephone: + 27 11 442 2267 or 0861 SAFARI.
Facsimile: + 27 11 442 2318
e-Mail: reservations@malamala.com


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