It has been just over a year since the Matimba brothers crossed over into my area of the reserve. What a roller coaster ride it has been for them.
The two aged brothers arrived from the eastern parts of the reserve. When they arrived they looked worse for wear. They must have been pushed out by younger males looking to expand their territories.
Their physical appearance told a very clear story about the struggles that they have been through. Within the first week the two lions managed to kill a buffalo.
This provided great nourishment to their ailing bodies. Not long afterwards they managed to hunt down another buffalo.
One of the major turning points in their survival was finding the Othawa pride and being accepted amongst their ranks.
A few months later they managed to mate with one of the younger females and sired a litter of three cubs. They have done a great job at protecting the vulnerable cubs from the Mhangene pride, Styx pride as well as the Othawa male who has left his original stomping grounds.
The Othawa pride has made numerous kills to which the Matimba boys claimed the bulk thereof. This has undoubtedly been their saving grace. However age has caught up with them and they are quickly nearing the end of their days.
You provide an interesting insight to the ageing of lions. I really enjoy the ‘upside down’ photograph.
Thanks Anne. Yes that was while he was rolling over, but stopped half way through
I really enjoyed this look at their twilight years. Lions live a hard life, but these two battled on & had a successful old age. It will be a sorry day when they are no longer with us.
You’ve said it well. They will be surely missed
I remember seeing the aged Hairy Belly on Djuma about a year and a half ago. No one thought he would make it through the next few days. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for these two beautiful males. I hope they can last long enough for the cubs to have a chance at surviving. It will be a sad day to see these two legends pass into memory. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos.
They really have surprised us over the last year or so. I do hope to see them for a little while more.
I met HB for the first time in 2015 on Elephant Plains and my love for wildlife photography was born. Thank you for update and sharing photos.
Only a pleasure ☺
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