A new home for two Thanda Lionesses!

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All game reserves have to ensure the correct balance of animal species to maintain a properly functioning Eco-system. One of the most important issues is the control of predator numbers. Because these in turn define the prey numbers, and these influence the plant environment and so on…

Currently Thanda has a lot of Lions, so we are glad we found a new home for two of our young Lionesses – in a game reserve further north in KwaZulu Natal.

Yesterday evening, just as sun started setting, Mike Toft, the veterinarian in charge of the Lion capture, did manage to dart both Lionesses. While Thanda’s dominant male was circling the scene the Thanda Wildlife Operations Team had to load both females onto a Land Cruiser to drive them to the Thanda base camp. There they were loaded in a special animal transport trailer for their ride home.

A number of Thanda guests got to see the Lionesses from close up, once they were asleep and ready for their last drive on the reserve. A very special safari experience.

It was a good day for Thanda and a good day for the Lions!

The capture operation in pictures:

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A few seconds – This image was taken a few seconds before the dart went in.

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Exciting – While Thanda’s dominant male was watching (top of the image) the first of the Lionesses was being prepared for transport.

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Heavy – The five gentlemen had to lift a heavy load.

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Fascinating – Thanda guests had the chance to get a close up look at Thanda Wildlife Operations. At that time both Lionesses were ready for their last drive on the reserve.

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Check-up – Mariana Venter, Thanda Wildlife Operations, and Mike Toft, Veterinarian in charge of this Lion capture, having a good look at on of the two Lionesses. Before they were transferred to Base Camp they got a proper “Lion Bush Physical”!

Pictures by Christian Sperka – Specialist Photography Guide and Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Private Game Reserve

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