Winston and Geronimo
Winston and Geronimo were dominant for 4 years in the Matombosa area, and spent a lot of time with the Matombosa Pride, Emily and Pauline, siring their cubs.
To hold onto such a rich territory and large pride (± 30 lions) for such a long time, Winston and Geronimo had to be brutes. Unfortunately, there is always going to come a time when even large male coalitions get old and lose to the challengers – and Geronimo was recently killed in such an encounter. Unable to hold onto the pride by himself, Winston has now become nomadic, and for his sake we hope that he joins up with other such males – which is actually a fairly common occurrence in lion society.
Saturday 05 December 2015
During the night Winston joined up with the girls, and this morning was lying a couple of hundred metres away under a small mopane. He’s looking quite good physically, but seems to be a bit more alert and skittish at the moment.
Friday 04 December 2015
Winston drank at Zebra Pan this morning which is about half way back to Mazunga from where he was up at the Towla gate. We will analyse the collar data, but it is likely that he either saw or heard Tony and Corinius and decided to head back towards more familiar territory.
This afternoon we tracked him from Zebra Pan down through the bush towards Chilongo Pan (where Pauline and her crew were last night). From there it is only about 4 km to Mupfura Pan where we have spent the majority of our time with Winston.
Winston is in pretty good condition considering that he has been fending for himself for the last week or so. He was nice and relaxed with the vehicle today, which is always a good sign.
Wednesday 02 December 2015
Winston has definitely started his walkabout now following the death of Geronimo, his coalition partner; this morning he was up by the Towla gate – the furthest he has ever ventured, and is now straying dangerously far into Tony and Corinius’s territory. These two would not have much sympathy for Winston.
Male lions don’t do so well on their own, and in normal circumstances are unable to hold a territory, as even two younger, less experienced, challengers would be too much of a match. Winston’s best bet now would be to join up with other such nomadic males, and form a new coalition.
Sunday 29 November 2015
We found Winston by himself on a zebra kill that he had made last night. There was still plenty of meat left, so that should keep him going for a while, as long as he remains undiscovered by other lions or hyaenas.
He was about 20 km out of his old territory, near the boundary fence, and in some of the thick habitat typically selected by nomadic males trying to avoid the attention of the dominant males in the area.
His condition was quite good, though his bottom lip is hanging lower than ever. All of his teeth seem to be the same as they were when we darted him in July, which is a good sign for a lone lion that has to kill for himself.