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Sponsor a Lion

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Part of AfriCat’s mission is to protect and conserve the regal, magnificent, King of all the carnivores, the Namibian Lion – and now YOU can join our AfriCat family, and be part of this hugely important work!!

Wherever you are, you can join us in the battle to protect this fabulous creature from extinction.

If, like us, you feel that wild animals are just as important to our world as us humans, and you feel that it is our responsibility to take action to ensure that we protect all of it, we invite YOU to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

By sponsoring one of our magnificent Lion, you will be helping fund our essential lion research, west of Etohsa National Park, our oh-so-important environmental educational programmes, our stock-management initiatives with local farmers, and all the vital elements that go into helping these lion survive – EVERY PENNY COUNTS  – and now YOU are on that front line too!

A ROOAARRRING SUPERB Gift

Sponsoring one of the wild, free-roaming Lion, and the certificates you receive, make wonderful gifts for Birthdays or Festivals, Graduation gifts, Mothers’ & Fathers’ Day!

When you Sponsor a Lion you’ll become one of the AfriCat Family members and you will get:

  • Regular AfriCat updates on our fb, Instagram or twitter page, reminding you of the cause you support
  • Photos of your beautiful Lion
  • A personalized certificate of the Lion you are supporting

The lion roam the wilderness west of Etosha National Park and are part of an ongoing research project  that is conduct a study of the Panthera leo population within the Hobatere Concession Area and movements between the Hobatere Concession Area, western Etosha National Park and adjacent communal farmland.

All of our Namibian Lion need YOUR help! Please help us to help them….

WHY?

  • Some serious facts to help crystalize why their place in the world is so unique, and why their survival is imperative:
  • Once described in Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1755) as “the fiercest and most magnanimous of the four footed beasts”. This definitely rings true with these magnificent felines!
  • There are now about 150 desert-adapted lion in the arid 52,000 km² rangeland of north-western Namibia, up from 25 in 1999.
  • This success comes off the back of involving and empowering affected rural communities in the management of wildlife – a strategy that makes Namibia a leader in the field.
  • The lion populations of the Etosha National Park and Kunene Region are believed to be one of the few FIV-free (Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus) populations in Africa.
  • Nor do they have other commonly exhibited diseases in other areas, such as Canine Distemper Virus, or Bovine TB 
  • The desert lion are genetically the same as the big cats in Kenya but their evolution has enabled them to survive where their east African cousins cannot.
  • These lion are known for their majestic size and ability to survive the harsh desert environment.
  • They have longer legs and leaner bodies than ‘regular’ lion, and are built for endurance.
  • Young male lion which are ousted from the pride in which they were born will often wander for huge distances, searching for other ousted males – thereafter they will form a coalition and try to take over a pride headed up by an adult male… this is where the fights begin!
  • If successful in taking over another males’ pride, the conquering male will often kill existing cubs, and then mate with the females…. A sure way of ensuring his genes prevail!
  • Lion have different hunting preferences, depending on what the environment around them can provide. Because prey is sparse in the desert regions, lion have to search far and wide for food, and can live off smaller prey, such as antelope, mice and birds.
  • Of course, because of their size and power, they are able to hunt for larger game such as zebra, gemsbok, and other antelope…. And then again, they will also scavenge and chase off other predators such as hyaena or wild dogs. Basically, they can do pretty much anything when it comes to obtaining their dinner!
  • Lion are the most social of the cat family! They live in ‘prides’ of up to 25 individuals… usually consisting of 1 – 4 adult males and several adult females – one of whom will be dominant. The rest are sub-adults and cubs.
  • Lion have a stronger resistance to thirst and can, incredibly, go for up to two weeks without drinking water (they rely on their prey’s blood for moisture). 
  • Namibian Lion tend to have darker fur than other those living in different climactic areas.
  • Their coats are slightly thicker to deal with the colder temperatures and they travel greater distances to find food.
  • They have 4 claws on their back feet, and 5 on their front feet. This front foot has a ‘dew claw’, which acts like a thumb to hold down prey, and doesn’t show on their ‘spoor’ – their footprint.
  • Lion have round pupils rather than the usual vertical slits found in the domestic cats’ eyes. This allows more light to filter into the eye at night – when the big cats are on the prowl looking for their food. It also enables them to focus on the bigger prey they are after.
  • Lion cubs are born with blue eyes! They change when they are around 2 or 3 months old to the beautiful amber or brown that we associate lions to have.
  • All the females of one pride are typically related.
  • Lion are primarily nocturnal or ‘crepuscular’ (active at twilight or just before sunset)…. Resting throughout the rest of the day (often up to 20 hours of nap time!).
  • Mostly, it is the females who are the hunters. The males are the protectors of territory and the pride.
  • There is a strict pecking order once the hunt is successful – the males eat first, then the females and then the cubs will eat what remains once the adults finish.
  • Lion become aggressive around the food, as the only way to get stuck in is to fight for it!
  • When there is plenty of food available, lion will gorge themselves into a food come – an average male may swallow around 15% of his body weight!!!
  • Breeding can take place at any time – females usually synchronizing the timing of breeding so that they stagger their births. This enables the maximum provision of food and care for the cubs – and so encourages survival rates. This is particularly so when the pride has been taken over by new dominant males.
  • Lion will mate roughly every 30 minutes for 3 days (each mating lasting about 20 seconds – nonstop! This ensures that pregnancies are more likely – again, especially important to the new pride male 
  • Females usually birth 1 – 4 cubs and will suckle them for about 6 months. Learning to hunt from 11 months, the cubs stay with their mother for at least 2 years.
  • Purring (on the out breath only), growling, humming, snarling, meowing, grunting and woofing are all part of the complex communication behaviours of the Lion.
  • The infamous lion ROARRRRRR is the LOUDEST of any of the big cats, and can be heard up to 8km away!!! A message that he is King of the Jungle | the African plains and the desert! 
  • Fast losing its ideal habitat due to human encroachment and farming activities, the Namibian Lion is under threat. As there are more instances of hungry lion attacking livestock, more retaliatory acts of killing lion occur.
  • The Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has specified that pre-emptive and retaliatory attacks against lion are the worst threat the species face…
  • They are now listed as VULNERABLE TO EXTINCTION
 
 

The King needs your help!! Help us tackle the problems they face…

Sponsorship/Adoption Fee

 

Adopt or Sponsor one of our Lion Prides for 1 year: N$ 5,000 / U$ 620 / £ 410 / € 500

The adoption fee covers the cost of fuel to enable night time patrols in order to help keep the Lions safe. It also assists with the daily expenses accumulated through the constant monitoring our these prides, ultimately ensuring their safety. 

DOWNLOAD OUR ADOPTION/SPONSORSHIP FORM HERE

Remember, when you Sponsor a Lion you will receive: 

  • Photos of your Lion
  • A personalized certificate of the Lion you are supporting
  • Regular AfriCat updates via fb, Instagram and Twitter, reminding you of the important cause you support 

The Purrrfect ROARING Gift, and the Purrrfect SNARRLING reason!

Feel good that you have not only celebrated with someone, but you have also put your money where your Y is.

YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE ‘CARNIVORE FAMILY’ WHO CARE ENOUGH TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT OUR WILDLIFE TODAY!

 MAKE A DIFFERENCE, BE A PART OF LOOKING AFTER OUR WORLD!

Hobatere Pride

The Lion Prides of the Hobatere Concession Area: in Namibia’s vast Kunene Region landscape, a ‘Pride’ comprises one to any number of females with cub(s), often not accompanied by a resident male. The males tend to roam over an extended area, meeting up with more than one group of females from time to time.

The Hobatere Concession Area was re-zoned in 2012, with the Hobatere Lodge falling into the Hobatere North zone (with the #Khoa di //Hoas Conservancy as Concessionaire), and the Hobatere Camp-site, (located close to Etosha’s western entrance, the Galton Gate), falling within the Etosha Roadside zone, also renamed as Etosha Roadside Camp (with the Ehirovipuka Conservancy as Concessionaire).

The lions of Hobatere, a 34’000 hectare wildlife protected, conservation area adjacent to western Etosha NP, is home to two groups of lions:

The Hobatere North Pride (2013 – May 2017): comprised two adult females (Hpl-1 and Hpl-11) and 4 small cubs.  Hpl-11 raised her two female cubs (Hpl-14+15), together with her daughter, Hpl-1 and her two female cubs (Hpl-12+13) within the Hobatere Concession. Hpl-11 was killed along the Hobatere southern boundary April 2016; Hpl-1 (SPOTS) remained the dominant female within this range until the arrival of five newcomer males, May 2017.  With no resident male to protect the SPOTS-Pride of 3 adult females and seven 9-month old cubs, SPOTS, her daughter Meyana (Hpl-13) and their group moved out of harm’s way (Hpl-12, Sidatia, remained in Hobatere North), initially into the mountains south-west of Hobatere (onto communal farmland), returning to a smaller range along the Hobatere southern border, including the Etosha Roadside area. With the end of the 5-year drought came natural prey depletion (large numbers of Hartmanns Zebra, Oryx and Giraffe had died of hunger and disease), aggravated by the paucity of the boundary fence and the presence of large numbers of unattended livestock grazing within this protected area and along the outskirts, the SPOTS-Pride found a regular and easy source of prey on farmland. An increase in farmer-lion conflict between June 2017 and March 2018, resulted in the removal by the Ministry of Environment & Tourism (MET), of SPOTS and a number of her pride, relocating them to an area approx. 150 km inside of Etosha; Hpl-1 died as the result of wounds sustained in a fight on her way back to her territory, March 31; little is known of the whereabouts of the rest of her pride, but regular monitoring within the Hobatere Concession indicates the probable survival of 3-5 of the original group.

The Hobatere North Pride (May 2017 to date): (their range predominantly western, northern and southern Hobatere), comprising 3 adult females, Sidatia, Naleli, ‘Black-Nose’ and five small cubs.

Hpl-12 (Sidatia), one of two females born to Hpl-1 (SPOTS) in December 2012, was first seen as a small cub on trail-camera footage early 2013, when the HLRP commenced. Together with her sibling, Hpl-13 (Meyana), they were raised within the boundaries of the Hobatere Concession. Sidatia (first collared 2015) has not raised any cubs, although she denned in July 2016 and again in August 2018.

Hpl-14 (Naleli, first collared 2017), Sidatia’s half-sister, was born mid-2013 to matriarch Hpl-11, Meebelo (Hpl-11 was killed on neighbouring farmland April 2016, due to Human-Wildlife Conflict; she was approx. 13-14 years old). 

Naleli raised two females and one male cub (born January/February 2016), but little is known as to their whereabouts at this point. As the Hobatere boundary fence is porous, we lost track of them before we could mark them for monitoring.

Her second litter, two male cubs, (born January 2018), were born in a well-hidden den under a hill-side rock-ledge, approx. 2 kms from the Hobatere Lodge waterhole.

‘Black-Nose’ (Hpl-15), un-collared, sister to Hpl-14, Naleli, recently joined the Hobatere North pride after an absence of approx. two years, disappearing from the area after her mother, Hpl-11, was trapped and shot on farmland. ‘Black-Nose’ presented her three, small cubs in June 2018.

The Hobatere territorial male 

Sores arrived in the Hobatere Concession (Hobatere North) in May 2017, together with four other males, presumably siblings. The known territorial male, Hpl-6 (Masialeti) and his sibling Hpl-2 (Volkel), had abandoned the Hobatere Concession in February 2017, leaving space for the newcomers. Three of these males were killed on farmland during the course of 2017 (due to HWC), one male is unaccounted for and one remained, attracted by the females Sidatia, Naleli and Black-Nose. We collared Hpl-26 (Sores) in September 2017.

Hpl-26 is the known father of the cubs produced by Hpl-14 and Black-Nose; Hpl-12 denned in early August but abandoned her den on 21 August. Due to the density of the shrubbery around the den, no visuals of the cubs are available.

In April 2018, Hpl-26 was first seen with an unknown female close to the Roadside Camp-site; since April, he regularly moves between the Hobatere North and the Etosha Roadside Prides.

The Etosha Roadside Pride

Since the Etosha Roadside waterhole is close to Etosha-west and the Kaross-Block, with the porous western Etosha boundary fence allowing for easy movement of wildlife from east to west and vice versa (migration of wildlife takes place seasonally), the Roadside Pride range includes eastern Hobatere, an area of approx. 30km2 inside the Etosha’s western boundary as well as the Kaross Block (comprising 14’000 ha).  

2013, the first group of lions was seen on trail-camera footage, including three females, one of which, Hpl-7 (Liluli), was collared in 2015 (re-collared 2017). Due to farmer-lion conflict along Hobatere’s southern border, most of the Etosha Roadside Pride were killed (2013-2016), with Hpl-7 and her group of one or two other lionesses and seven offspring taking over the Etosha Roadside range. During the second half of 2017, Hpl-7’s range shifted predominantly into Kaross Block, where she produced 2-3 cubs, December 2017 (we suspect that Hpl-7 abandoned the Etosha Roadside range due to the arrival of Hpl-1 and her pride of  7-9 lions). Due to the fact that Kaross Block falls within the Etosha NP borders (with high security due to Rhino Poaching), the regular, physical monitoring of this pride is not possible.  However, via her GPS-Satellite collar, we are able to monitor Hpl-7’s whereabouts, confining her to within the boundaries of the Kaross Block.

Since June 2018, three lionesses (one adult, two sub-adult), have regularly been seen with Hpl-26 at the Etosha Roadside waterhole; we suggest that these three lionesses may be part of the original Roadside Pride, as they move back and forth from the Roadside waterhole into the Kaross Block and Etosha-west, with Hpl-26 in tow (their location logged with his way-points).     

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