With the Mbiri’s being slightly further south than usual, situated in the vicinity of the Zebinine pride and their cubs, we have been without their familiar roars which we have grown so accustomed to. The males appear to be staying close to their youngsters and new females. Such a close presence keeps unwanted threats such as hyenas or other lion prides from the den site.
With the new cubs keeping both the lionesses from the Zebinine pride extremely busy, the males decided to wonder and peruse further females to mate with. By mating with other females in region they will be able to spread their genes and increase their dominance over the central Timbavati.
Searching for new mates
It does seem that the Mbiri males succeeded in locating a new pride of females, the Myambula pride. This pride comprises of five adult lionesses, and no apparent male insight. With no dominant male on the scene, it will enable a much easier take over by the Mbiri males.
Small cubs were recently seen with one of the lionesses. This leads us to believe that the Mbiri males have already succeeded in claiming this pride. However, it too could be that they have pushed out the former dominant male/s of the Myambula pride. The young male that was once seen within this pride has not been spotted for some time and one can only speculate what became of him.
A recent sighting saw both the Mbiri males with three of the Myambula lionesses. This was a slightly more interesting sighting, as we were able to decipher that it is the smaller of the two males that seems to be more dominant lion. This is not very common as it is generally the larger males sporting full dark manes that have more testosterone. The more testosterone, the larger the lion and more aggressive it will be. As a result, the larger lion is more dominant, yet this is not the case with the Mbiri Males.
The smaller of the two sports a profoundly scarred face when comparing him to his larger brother who’s is fairly untouched. The dominance is seen again as the larger male sits in the background watching his younger brother mating just ahead. Threatening growls are heard when there are any attempts from the larger male to approach the lioness in season.
Here are a few images captured by Greg McCall-Peat, some clearly showing the war wounds sported by the Mbiri Males. For further images and more in-depth depiction of the scenes, continue reading Greg’s blog post featured on the Umlani website.