02 Feb Lion release
To the great joy of a number of field guides, the lions that were held in the boma for contraception and pride formation (2 females and 6 young lions of various ages) were released on the 24th of January 2006.
A wildebeest carcass was used to bait them into the small camp after which the main boma gate was opened. The lions showed no immediate interest in their potential freedom and kept feeding undisturbed.
The animals were left alone and at around midday, they left the boma, moved to Middle Dam, had a drink and then rested a while. They then moved towards Gierenhof lodge, down towards Koedoespoort and on towards Manuel Gate, Metsi Lodge, along the Krommellenboog boundary, Hanno-se-pad and ended up a week later at Thaba Metsi in the Platbos Valley.
All eight animals have remained together, which is promising, and at this early stage, it appears as if the experiment of bonding them has worked. However, only the future will bear witness to the long-term success of this project. One of the lionesses is fitted with a GPS collar for follow-up monitoring.