Great Plains – battle for Duba

Duba Plains is on an Island in the Okavango Delta.  One male lion, who is king of all three prides, dominates Duba Plains – he is called the Skimmer Male.  He has upwards of 20 adult lions to watch over and this is proving to be a struggle as the younger males get older and compete for his patch.

The Lion diaries of Otlwaetse, OT
“The Skimmer male lion is in his prime time, but on the other hand feels threatened by his own son who is growing at a great pace. Spike and OB  (our Duba Plains guides) were guiding a professional photographic group. Our guides know very well when it is the right moment. Sitting there in the car, silently waiting as the lions approach the buffalos as part of a calculated move.  With years of experience watching these lions they have become very intuitive.

With cameras at the ready, just from nowhere, the dominant Skimmer male appeared and started harassing and splitting the pride up, beating up his maturing sons who attempted to challenge to him but were not quite powerful enough. The photographers’ shutters were going wild as a big fight ensued – father versus son.  This was the moment the battle for Duba began”.

Despite the Skimmer male’s size the two sub-adult male sons in the pride are now posing a threat.  We are suspecting that soon they will be chased off the pride and will become nomadic for a period. They are only three years old now and they are getting stronger every day and the Skimmer male will not want them around.  Once they peel off then who knows what will happen next.

Our elderly lady is mortally injured – a 20 year old Grandmother.  Along with the infamous Silver Eye, the two are the most mature females at Duba Plains.  A recent extract from a professional photographer’s blog caused huge excitement as “an elderly lion” was gored by a buffalo.  Reports from the guides were that she had been hit in the neck and was struggling to hunt and also feed with the other lions.  It appeared that she also became rather thin. This was revealed to be the grandmother lion, the mother of Ma Di Tau.  Sadly from the result of this injury, and from a tumor on her neck, she passed away. We celebrate her 20 years, an unprecedented life span for a lion, raising many cubs and providing wonderful wildlife spectacles in the protected environment of Duba Plains.

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