Lion cubs

Two lionesses in the southern parts of the reserve gave birth to new lion cubs during August.

They were the cubs of one of the young males from the coalition of 3 which originated in the north of the reserve, but which has made the southern parts their territory.

However, a month ago, the two males that were introduced to the reserve from the Kalahari last year staged a successful coup and ousted the 3 young males from the southern parts.

When new males take over, the cubs of the loosing males are often killed. It appears that was the case in this instance as the cubs of one of the lionesses disappeared very soon after the takeover, while one cub of the second lioness was seen killed and her other cubs have now also disappeared.

The two new males immediately stamped their authority by mating with the females again to reproduce as quickly as possible so that their genes can continue in the population. Although it is always sad when young cubs are killed by older males, it is a way of nature ensuring that the strongest genes survive.

It is also a natural population control measure, and in the case of small reserves like Welgevonden, any natural population control is welcomed. In any event, as mating has occurred, it should not be too long before new cubs are born again.