Sunday, 15 January 2017

Lions - too many, or too few?

Exciting news on the lions of Buffelsfontein!

The cubs being prepared for their journey:

The three adolescent Buffelsfontein cubs (see previous blog posting) have found a safe, caring home at Buffelsdrift, near Oudtshoorn. The owners of the nature reserve at Buffelsdrift have guaranteed Paul Loubser, owner of Buffelsfontein, an extended, dignified life for the three animals. In a combined effort with the well-known TV personalities of  'Groen NamibiĆ«' Dr Rudie and his wife Marlice van Vuuren, and under the ever-watchful eye of the KykNet TV director they were anaesthetised, crated an transported to their new home.

Wildlife vet, the good Dr. Willem Burger, arrived well equipped for any eventuality.

Paul was adamant that the wellbeing of the lions would take precedence throughout the whole of the translocation procedure. The minimum stress and maximal comfort of the cubs was infinitely more important to him than getting good TV footage. This is sometimes not easy, but he was adamant.
Fortunately everyone agreed, and the initial filming was done outside, in the family enclosure. Then the lions were enticed into the three small, individual little "hospital enclosures", where sick lions are usually treated. Here they were separately anaesthetised practically simultaneously - infinitely less stress and drama.

Each having had a proper medical check-up, they were individually loaded into their straw-lined, custom-made transport crates for the journey.

 As Paul watched the convoy leave Buffelsfontein, his body language said it all - his children were leaving home for ever. Pretty sad.

But then, on the bright side: a whole new lion colony will be established near Oudtshoorn, in a reserve which does not cater for canned hunting either.

While back in Buffelsfontein the only male in Elsa's latest litter will take another three years before reaching sexual maturity. Ample breathing space for all.

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