The next major step for the lions was a total success! Two days ago we darted and moved the two Golden Lionesses from their territory at Shidolo to the 5 acre acclimation boma at their new territory of Mbube.
The translocation was not without it’s challenges (as always!), but was a resounding success in the end – thanks to the excellent care of veterinarian Dr Peter Rogers and his assistant Janell. The Golden Lionesses were donated to the project 4.5 years ago by a 55,000 acre wilderness area, when their mother was killed hunting a buffalo and they were orphaned at 1.5 yrs old. For this reason they have always been more wary than the white lions at Tsau. The Golden Girls had hunted an adult wildebeest the night before and Khanyisa was still feeding when we relocated them. Dr Rogers managed to dart Nyeleti out in the open, but Khanyisa had moved into a thicket to continue feeding. It was an anxious 45 minutes whilst Celia carefully manoeuvered Dr Rogers close enough to dart Khanyisa. The challenge was that the dart could easily be deflected by the dense vegetation, so Dr Rogers had to choose his moment very carefully, and indeed he did. Whilst immobilized both lionesses were fitted with new radio-tracking collars and given a full check-up and found to be in excellent health. Celia spent the night in the monitoring vehicle near the boma to monitor their progress.
The lionesses were very relaxed admiring the Akeru Males (Letaba & Regeus) in the neighbouring boma! And vice versa of course! The lionesses will acclimatize to their new surroundings, and then as soon as we can complete the double electric fencing protecting their new 1,800 acre territory from poachers (trappers), we can release the Akeru Four to roam free.
We urgently need your help with donations to finish the hi-specification security fencing and to equip our anti-poaching team, so that we can release the Akeru Pride as soon as possible. Please go to the donations page on our FaceBook Page (White Lion Protection Trust or Global White Lion Protection Trust) or website www.whitelions.org and contribute to the freedom of Letaba, Regeus, Nyeleti, and Khanyisa.