Lion cubs in Tembe Elephant Park

Wildlife ACT’s conservation volunteer, Scott McCord, braved the midday African heat to catch a glimpse of something special at Mahlasela hide in Tembe National Elephant Park, South Africa. Lion cubs!

We believed Nkanyezi, a lioness in Tembe, had given birth to her first litter of cubs since her contraception had worn off, but nothing had been confirmed. Field rangers had reported possible lion cubs just south of the hide but no one had laid eyes on them…until Scott got these great pictures.

Nkanyezi, her mother Kampa, and Nkanyezi’s three new additions to the Tembe population were photographed just in front of the hide. The little ones have been seen on the webcam regularly since by people watching worldwide – but we have not been able to catch them on our sessions yet. Scott’s pictures were the first ones ever taken and he was the first human to ever see these cute bundles of fur and claws!

Tembe Elephant Park Lion Cubs

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Is lion contraception necessary?

‘The carrying capacity for lions in Tembe National Elephant Park is set at approximately 20. With their 50+ lion population, they are exceeding the carrying capacity and the excess lions need to be relocated. It has been decided to use a multi-pronged approach to manage the lion population. Firstly, to aggressively source potential homes for them. Secondly, to contracept selected females and thirdly, to tube-tie selected remaining females (one side only) to possibly reduce their litter size.’

Photo credit: Scott McCord (Wildlife ACT volunteer)