A new home for orphaned lion cubs

02 June 2020 | Environment

Two lion cubs – the sole survivors of human wildlife conflict in the Sesfontein area – were relocated and released onto a 25 000ha fenced protected reserve in central Namibia last week in a joint operation by the environment ministry and the Na’an ku sê Foundation.
The two cubs were left orphaned when their mother was shot in the Anabeb conservancy during a human-wildlife conflict situation in March 2020 when she predated on livestock from local farmers in the Sesfontien area.
A few days after the mother was killed, the cubs were in visible poor physical condition and tried to catch livestock. The ministry then decided to relocate the cubs, estimated to be between 7 and 8 months at the time, in an effort to ensure their survival.
The Na’an ku sê Foundation volunteered to assist the ministry in capturing and relocating the cubs.
The Na’an ku sê team consisting of Marlice van Vuuren and a team of veterinarians was able to, with the assistance of ministry rangers and Desert Lion Conservation Trust rangers, locate and immobilize the two cubs. It is presumed that the third cub died of hunger between the beginning of April and end of May.
The cubs, estimated to be between 8 and 10 months old now, were transported to TimBila Nature Reserve by Na’an ku sê, into a soft release boma until such a time that they can be joined into a new pride of other conflict causing lions and be released onto the reserve, giving them a second chance in life. The lions remain the property of the government.