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Such luck to witness real-time conservation

Mon 13 Dec 2021

Shareholders Guido and Nancy were fortunate enough to witness a couple of conservation projects during their stay at Limpopo-Lipadi. Here is the story of their first adventure, the relocation of some of our lions to other parts of Botswana:

“The day after we arrived in Limpopo-Lipadi, we heard that the lion relocation team had been working around the clock to find and dart a couple of lionesses for relocation. With the high grass, this was not an easy task, so they needed to use a helicopter.

During our morning drive with our guide, John we heard on the radio that they had darted a lioness during the night and another one had just been darted. Such luck! We drove over just in time to see Eric, our veterinarian, put a collar on one of the lionesses. We were able to see this beautiful animal from up close and could touch her as she was fast asleep. Another occupied cage was further away, and this lioness was awake and not happy at all! We were told not to move in the vicinity of that cage, as this would arouse her even more. A crane lifted the two crates onto the truck, under loud protest of the young female. Then off they went on a 13-hour drive up north to be released. But, this is not the end of the story.

While at the lion capture spot we noticed the carcass of a wildebeest. The animal was used as bait to lure the lions to this spot to be darted for relocation. To make sure the carcass was not pulled away deep into the bush, it was chained to a tree. As the bait was still there, we thought it would be a good idea to visit the spot on our evening drive, so that’s what we did. It didn’t take long after arrival for a beautiful male lion to appear. With all his strength he tried to pull the carcass to a safe spot in the bush, but the chain was too much even for such a strong animal. Good for us, as we had the opportunity to capture some excellent pictures. We could actually hear the bones cracking under the enormous strength of this lion. Eventually, he gave up and started his dinner on the spot, giving us a great view! The next day we visited the spot again and the male lion was still there, digesting in the shade.

Never a dull moment on the reserve! This was again a very special experience to be part of and another example of how privileged we are as shareholders of this fantastic wildlife reserve!”

📸 Nigel Nicholls