In February a female lioness, XPL-121, was shot near a farm in the Anabeb Conservancy. She had been struggling to feed her three cubs, due to low numbers of prey in the area, and was increasingly encroaching on farmers’ livestock. In the following days the IRDNC Rapid Response Teams, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism staff, and Lion Rangers, worked tirelessly to try to capture the newly orphaned cubs. They were unsuccessful. This was considered an urgent matter as the cubs were unable to feed themselves. Thankfully, the Anabeb Conservancy stepped in. In the ensuing months conservancy management and members donated donkeys to feed the orphaned cubs and ensure their survival until they could be safely captured and translocated away from danger.
After numerous efforts, Dr. Flip Stander led a multi-organizational team this past week to safely capture and translocate two of the cubs. Unfortunately, the third had died in the interim.
As the pictures demonstrate, the cubs were suffering from lack of food and they will need to be fed in the coming months. Though it is unlikely they will ever be able to roam freely in the northwest, they will have a life at a private reserve. Great thanks to Dr. Stander for leading these efforts, for the Lion Rangers and Rapid Response teams for their tireless efforts, and especially to the conservancy for their sacrifices to ensure the cubs were safely captured and survived their ordeal.