The two Northern lion brothers arrived in June this year and have settled in the North of the reserve for now.
The males were brought onto the reserve for genetics purposes to prevent inbreeding. It is a new line of blood that will prevent inbreeding amongst the prides. Even though we have a dominant male, he will not always be around to mate with all the females and that is where the brothers will step in to mate with the females.
Since they arrived they have been trying to establish their dominance by stealing kills made by other lions and chasing the females around. There has also been a lot of interaction between them and the Northern Pride cubs and there had been concerns that they were trying to endanger the cubs however they are sub adults now.
The females in the Northern Pride are very protective over their kills that they make and their young as they have to protect their resources. One of the brothers got a bit close to the mother of the cubs and she attacked him injuring his eye. His eye unfortunately got worse over time and Dr Johan decided to step in and analyse the eye to see if he could prevent the male from going blind.
Dr Johan treated it for an eye infection however he is still trying to see if there is any other way to try and save the eye. The main concern is finding the lion and darting him. Unfortunately, there is still a chance that he will go blind in the eye but time will tell.
However, this hasn’t stopped the brothers from exploring their territory. They have been chasing the black wildebeest and making a few kills so they are finding their way around the reserve. The two also seem to be venturing closer and closer to the South of the reserve.
The rangers have noticed that our dominant male hasn’t been making his frequent visits to the North of the reserve anymore. His tracks were recently seen heading up to the North, about halfway on the border of Berringtons Dam up to Eagles Crag Lodge however his fresh tracks were seen on the same day headed back to the South.
They believe that he is being cautious, he is bigger and stronger than they are but they work in a collision and he is alone.
The brothers are about 2 or 3 years old but they are sticking together and they are in their prime at the moment. The one male is bigger than his brother. Collisions have been known to stick together for a long period of time but there will be a more dominant one between the two and one day they will end up facing each other. This will happen when females come into the equation, if they are competing for the same female.
It will be exciting to see if they do make their way down to the South of the reserve, how they will manage to fit in and if they challenge our dominant male lion.