This past week the Lion Rangers, accompanied by Dr. Philip Stander of Desert Lion Conservation, performed an intensive tracking of an as of yet uncollared group of lions near the Huab River. This group, descended from lions further south in the Ugab River, has been known in the area, though they have not been the cause of human-lion conflict. Nevertheless, their proximity to farmers in the area of De Riet has been some cause for concern.
With a report coming into the Namibia Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism that lions were once again moving through the area, Jendery Tsaneb and John Heydinger of the Lion Rangers were deployed to the area. Over a period of four days they tracked the lions through the river and nearby plains, where the group was known to be hunting ostrich. As a still young group, mostly between the ages of three and four years old, the lions are still growing their hunting skills and it was considered imperative to get them collared before they turned to raiding livestock. Hopefully, now that collars have been affixed, methods can be implemented to proactively keep them away from livestock.
On Friday night Dr. Stander fitted three of the lions with collars that will help monitor their movements and, by way of information sharing, help keep community livestock safe. Torra Conservancy Game Guard Erik Gewers assisted with the tracking and after the collaring reiterated the community’s desire for farmers to receive additional training in how to safely live alongside lions.
All three immobilized lions recovered beautifully and were seen early the next morning moving through the Huab riverbed. It will be great to keep tabs on this group as they grow and mature in the beautiful Huab landscape.