On the 6th of September at 10am in the morning wilddogs were seen hunting around Tumaren Camp. A walking safari nearby were able to see the dogs briefly as they tore off after some Impala. This is not an uncommon observation on our trips and we see wilddogs often hunting in the area. While some lodges in Kenya use radio telemetry to find their wilddogs, we prefer old school tracking and spotting to the ‘canned hunt’ approach. It was thrilling then to see that our pack had some very new pups with them as well.
Kechine, one of our lead rangers continued to follow the wilddogs as they descended toward one of our dams. In thick bush he was able to catch up with the dogs just as they met with an adult lioness. There was a standoff just before the Lioness lunged and was able to grab one of the new pups. She promptly killed the dog while the rest of the pack circled in obvious concern and stress. A rather sad day for our dogs but a very interesting interaction that Kechine (also pictured below) was able to observe and document on his new Nikon camera.
This sad (its actually not that sad – this was an old lion) but interesting story comes from Laurence Frank from the Laikipia Predator Project. The LPP is an excellent effort fighting hard on behalf of predators and looking deeper into the conflicts that humans and predators find themselves in, in our area. Please have a look at their website http://www.lionconservation.org to learn more.
Below is Laurence’s notes:
This morning LM72 was found dead on Ol Pejeta, apparently killed by
other lions. Many thanks to Giles Prettejohn for informing us as
soon as he was found.
We collared male LM72 as a three-and-a-half year old on Segera in
January 2002. He stayed on the south half of Segera and Kihoto until
November, and then moved to Ol Jogi for a year. By March 2004 he was
back on Segera, where he resumed his old home range until August,
when he moved to Ngorare. Alayne gave him a new collar on Ngorare in
October, 2004. We think he became a pride male there, as he stayed
until April, 2006. Three days after we last found him on Ngorare, he
showed up on Mutara, presumably displaced by other males. Since then
he has moved between Mutara and Ol Pejeta; although we have not been
able to do much flying in the last two years, we had several reports
of him on OP. I attach a map showing the 78 locations we got over
the years. He covered a minimum area of 840 sq. km. in the time we
have known him.
He appears to have been badly beaten up by other males a few days
ago. He had deep infected and necrotic bite wounds on both hindlegs
and his neck, and presumably died of infections early
yesterday. Interestingly, we had a similar case of a young male
dying of infected bites and abscesses on Mpala last October.
LM72 was ten or eleven years old. To have lived that long, he was
clearly wise enough to leave cattle alone; let us hope that he left
us many offspring who learned his discretion and good manners.
One of our neighbours large bulls was killed and eaten on our property several days ago. It appears to have been doing a little secret grazing in the evening when the lion got it. This is the third lion loss for this particular neighbor in the past 4 months. We have notified the Laikipia Predator Project but should readers here like to read more about an excellent Organization that works to mitigate lion / livestock problems go to: