In Welgevonden we have two separate Lion prides. The western pride seen mostly in the North and West consist of seven individuals. The southern pride has 3 members, which makes it a total of 10 lions.
Our resident southern Pride consists of one male named (Dinokeng), one adult female known as the Welgevonden lioness and her sub-adult female cub.
Back in 2015 a devastating virus, called k9 distemper, spread through the reserve. Within a month, all the lions were infected and died, except for one Lioness. The one survivor is now the lioness of the southern pride. For a few months, she was the only lion on the reserve and life must have been very lonely for her. Once park management was positive that the virus was a thing of the past, they introduced a new male lion called the (Tembe) male. The Welgevonden lioness met up with him within only a few days and were seen mating. She then moved off into the central parts of the reserve and was seldom seen. She was believed to have given birth to 4 cubs on the first of February 2017.
The release of Dinokeng
After the birth of the cubs she stayed in the central part until about March 2017. In March a new male was released, he is known as Dinokeng. On his release he headed straight south towards the plains close to Kololo. Dinokeng is no stranger to Welgevonden though, he was actually born on the reserve a few years ago. He was removed long before the virus killed the lions and was relocated to Dinokeng game reserve.
After he moved south he picked up on the scent of the lioness with her 4 cubs and possibly killed one of them, since one went missing during the same time. After a month of running away from the Dinokeng male the female decided to stash the remaining cubs somewhere and mate with Dinokeng, tricking him into believing that the 3 remaining cubs were his. The southern pride formed somewhere around June/July 2017 and have been together ever since. Recently she lost two more cubs and now only one remains.
The pride is strong now and very healthy, and in fact look like they are eating out of a buffet every day.