Sand River Pride Continued

Posted on February 3, 2009

I have delayed writing this to allow my emotions to calm down after hearing of this tragic event.

After dwelling on this for several days it seems to me that the perpetrators of this crime, and it is a crime, do not care about the animals at all. They appear to know exactly what they are doing and fear no retribution. This is the 3rd time that I am aware of that this has happened in this area over the last few years. The original Sand River Pride was decimated a few years ago and now they have finished the job. In between we have had the shooting of Makwela’s cubs and no doubt she is very lucky to be alive. This seems to be a common theme throughout many parts of Africa. I have personally been to many places and have heard of similar attitudes and incidents in South Luangwa, Masai Mara, Namibia, Okavango Delta and other parts of South Africa and I have no doubt that other lodges up and down the Kruger have the same stories. I have often been told that 10 years ago there were roughly 200,000 wild lions in Africa and now there are roughly 20,000 (less 6). If these numbers are anywhere near correct (and I would love someone to confirm or deny them), then we have a real problem for the future of lions and no doubt other carnivores in Africa. If this sort of thing is happening at the same rate everywhere it is no wonder wild lions are being decimated. They have a hard enough time surviving without being shot.

My next thought is that over the last 10 years or so many of us have travelled to Africa donating money, clothes, sporting equipment educational tools etc. A case in point, I am heading back next week with my bags packed with items I will be giving to the local communities. Is this truly achieving what we all hope for and want? i.e. improved lives and education for the local people via benefits received because of the animals! If the above numbers are correct it would appear we are all kidding ourselves. A lot of people are getting a free ride on the lions back so to speak and obviously don‘t care about the animals that give them these benefits. No doubt we can argue about who really gets what and how much everyone gets but the bottom line is that without the animals no one gets anything at all. Personally I feel betrayed and I think the people responsible for these crimes need to be identified, shamed and their communities should miss out on any benefits for a period of time. We may then see the local community get involved and sort this out themselves. I can hear some people saying that we shouldn‘t tar everyone with the same brush but the silence is deafening from everyone except the people who actually pay the money i.e. us! Perhaps this silence does not reflect well on the local government and the local people? Guilt by association may be a big call but if we continue down this path there will be nothing left. I bet the silence will be over then!

I am not saying that this should form a definitive solution but it is time that this was put forward and the implications considered. It may be that these thoughts need to be incorporated as part of an overall solution but these animals must be protected one way or another and not be murdered with impunity.

My wife and I were lucky enough to visit Leopard Hills in Sept 2007 and would like to share our photos of the Sand River Pride

Sepp D

3 thoughts on “Sand River Pride Continued

  1. Your commentary is extremely well written and I have to agree with you on all points of concern and consideration. Thank you for eloquently voicing what many of us are feeling.

  2. Dear all,
    just to say that what happened to the lion pride is a shame. My husband and myself were at the Lodge in 2003 on honey moon and we have a beautiful memory of our holiday there. I fell so sorry for what happened… The killing of this gorgeous pride has annihilated me.
    Annita from Italy

  3. I posted on Africam–>
    Hi there again,

    I forgot to ask.

    I was not an africam member at christmas evening 2006.

    I did read back the chat that was happening that special evening.

    Nice to see it was a triller!

    (also next day)

    Ok my questions are: When they first appeared .. 2 male Lions and 1 female. Were they the Manyeleti brothers ? Together with a hungry female?

    1 day later a pride took down a Cape Buffulo, same lions? ifso which lionesses joined them later that day? were they together long? as a lion Pride?

    Questions at this moment: The Manyeleti Brothers. are they still together? last i read about them that 1 of the 2 was badly hurted.. ( Bushie uploaded a pic on 1 of the 2 brothers with a broken wounded leg)

    Secondly the sad news Aquila told us about the Sandriver pride…

    First reports they all got shot (:

    Later reports said that 1 of the male cubs did escape the shooting and went right back into the the reserved and safe area.. Has he been spotted anywere?

    A long time already past since the Sand River Pride has been shot … so if its true that 1 of the cubs DID escape the shooting… i really wonder were he is now.. ( On his own?) maybe he joined another pride and was welcome?

    A Load of Questions are storming in my mind about this.

    About the Windmills: I was so happy to see them LIVE on NK , I already seen in the waterholechat that this pride was hiding and in a hunting mood just under the cabin that Penny2 was housing on her trip. (Penny must be something you will never ever forget!)

    Ok again i know i talk to much..

    Does anybody know about the manyeleti’s This day? Is the wounded one still alive? Did his brother Hunt and got any food to his wounded brother?

    Does anybody know if its true that one Sand River Cub escaped the shooting?

    were is he now… Still alone ore joined a pride? ( I hope so)

    anybody has any news about the Mapogo’s?

    @ insaneBushie.. i saw all the picture’s you uploaded THANK YOU!

    your picture’s combined with Penny2 picture’s are saved at my Computer.

    Thank You Be safe and..

    Take Care

    —-> next

    It is emailed to me ……. that indeed 1 of the younsters that was a part of the Sand River pride did escape from the shooting.

    So the Sand river Pride is not dead! we still have one..

    He seems to be out there in the bush on his own….

    I was told he is not very skinny and does look Ok and safe .. but still alone.

    As i posted before.. i do hope he will join the 2 Manyeleti brothers!

    it will make a great pride! ( the 3 of them).

    Be Safe and take Care



    an answer!
    From Penny2
    I have some information on the young male from the Sand River pride. Yes, he did escape the shooting. I heard from a ranger friend in the south of the Sabi Sand that he has been seen (not by my friend, though) and reports were that, although a bit thin, he seems to be coping remarkably well on his own and is obviously finding some food. It will be interesting to see how he copes on his own in the future.

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