Following up on the "Five Muscateers"
At the beginning of February the Hoanib River, fed by abundant seasonal rains, reached the Atlantic – a rare occurance. Image above of a wonderfully green Kunene region.
Conditions in the Hoanib floodplain are wet resulting the “Five Musketeers” - stars of the Vanishing Kings documentary - to move back to the safety of the Okongwe waterhole.
Photo right the Hoanib reaching the ocean on Namibia's Skeleton Coast.
However this brings them into possible contact with domestic stock beloinging to nearby villiages.
Measures to prevent human-lion conflict by the Desert Lion Foundation, with the help of local lodges in the area involve causing a ‘disturbance’ using whistles, fireworks and bright lights in an effort to keep the lions away from the domestic animals in the area.
A possible lure for the males to this area may well be the presence of two female lionesses in oestrus. These females are however habituated to living in close proximity to humans and livestock and remain skittish, avoiding contact. Male lions who have moved into the area in the past, not being habituated, were often shot by villagers. A huge effort is thus underway to prevent the same happening to these “Five Musketeers”
The Musketeers, now fully grown adults, have been observed mating with the last two remaining lionesses in the Okongwe Pride…. Perhaps their legacy will indeed live on
There is much work to be done however in habituating the males to avoid human and livestock contact. This involves 24/7 tracking in difficult terrain, chasing the males away when they approach too close to settlements. Thanks go to those who sacrifice so much to keep these powerful symbols of freedom alive and thriving. Anyone wishing to contribute to this worth cause, visit their website or Facebook