Lion cubs

By Sam Davidson-Phillips

After months of speculation and waiting impatiently the lioness of the western pride presented her litter of four small cubs to the Welgevonden community, resulting in much excitement.

These four newcomers join the five older cubs who have been born into the southern pride.

There is a still lot of speculation as to whether the other females in each of the prides may also present the Reserve with more cubs in the near future.

The success of the lion population on Welgevonden as both fantastic tourist animals, due to their highly relaxed nature, and the population’s ability to increase in number results in management having to regulate their numbers. The potential occurrence of inbreeding between off-spring and their parents also requires management.

To achieve these management goals, a group of sub-adult lions unfortunately had to be removed from the Reserve. Fortunately management was successful in finding a good home for two of the “extra” young females at Karongwe Private Game Reserve in the lowveld and potentially a home for some of the males at one of the National Parks.

Currently the lion population on Welgevonden comprises of 3 adult males, two prides of two lionesses each and the 9 cubs between 4 weeks and 3 months old plus who knows how many potential new cubs.