RELEASE PROGRAM: LIONS IN THE PROGRAM

ALERT maintains a stud book of all lions owned by the charity.  Our operational partners Antelope Park and Lion Encounter operate the same system for all lions owned by them.  All lions are micro-chipped and a register is maintained with local wildlife authorities and consultant vets.

As at 3rd August 2014 a total of 130 lions are part of the African Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Program, of which 24 are in release sites.  A further 35 lions are being provided sanctuary.

THE FOLLOWING LIONS ARE OWNED BY ALERT:

The following animals are owned by ALERT, having been donated to the Charity by Antelope Park or Lion Encounter Zambia, or are the offspring of those lions that have been born within release areas.

Year Opening
Balance
In Out Born Died Closing
Balance
Net
Change
2008 0 6 (i) 0 0 0 6 +6
2009 6 0 0 0 0 6 +0
2010 6 2 (ii) 0 0 0 8 +2
2011 8 7 (iii)   0         15 (iv) 10 (v)  20 +12
2012 20 0 0 3 (iv) 3 (v) 20 +0
2013 20 0 0 3 (vi) 0 23 +3
2014 23 0 0 3 (vi) 0 26 +3

 

Location No. Status Lions
Ngamo 6 Released Ashanti, Kenge, Kwali, Milo, Nala (ix), Phyre
  5 Born in the release site MiAs4, MiAs5, MiAt1, MiKe3, MiKe4
Dambwa 7 Released Kela, Kwandi, Loma, Leya, Rusha2, Temi, Zulu
  6 Born in the release site ZuLe1, ZuLe2, ZuLe3, ZuRs1, ZuRs2, ZuRs3
Antelope Park 2 Sanctuary Athena (vii), Narnia (viii/ix)
TOTAL 26    

Figures correct as at 3rd August 2014

The Ngamo release site is 403 acres/163ha in size and located adjacent to Antelope Park, on the outskirts of Gweru in central Zimbabwe.  The Dambwa release site is 707 acres / 286ha in size and located within the Dambwa Forest on the outskirts of Livingstone in southern Zambia.

Notes

(i)  Ashanti, Athena, Kenge, Nala, Narnia and Phyre were donated to ALERT by Antelope Park

(ii)  Kwali & Milo were donated to ALERT by Antelope Park

(iii)  Kela, Kwandi, Loma, Leya, Rusha2, Temi & Zulu were donated to ALERT by Lion Encounter Zambia

(iv)  These 18 births occurred within the Ngamo release site post-release and comprised of seven litters (3 litters of 2 cubs and 4 litters of 3 cubs). Cubs born in release sites are not given names but receive a code denoting their father, mother and number.  For example MIAT1 is the first cub to be given a code that was born to Milo and Athena.

(v)  Of the 13 lions recorded as having died 6 were cubs born to the Ngamo pride post-release that failed to thrive.  Lions often lose their first litter and this level of reproductive success was to be expected.  The remaining 7 deaths were cubs that were killed, or believed to have been killed, by pride members of the Ngamo pride.  

(vi)  These 6 births occurred within the Dambwa release site post-release and comprised of two litters, each of three cubs.  Cubs born in release sites are not given names but receive a code denoting their father, mother and number.  For example ZURS1 is the first cub to be given a code that was born to Zulu and Rusha.

(vii)  Athena was observed acting in a predatory manner towards some of the cubs that were born to the Ngamo pride post-release.  She was removed from the release site on 28th October 2011 and placed at Antelope Park’s breeding program

(viii)  Narnia was discovered in the Ngamo release site on the morning of 25th June 2013 with her back legs paralyzed.  She was immediately removed to a management enclosure adjacent to the release site and a vet called.  Whilst this condition has many possible causes, we were advised that the most likely diagnosis was a prolapsed (or slipped) disc.   This diagnosis has since been confirmed by x-ray, showing a prolapsed disc between vertebrae C-12 and C-13, with some degeneration on other vertebrae.  A prolapsed disc occurs when the circle of connective tissue surrounding the disc breaks down. This allows the soft, gel-like part of the disc to swell and protrude out.  It is not always clear what causes the connective tissue to break down.  However, slipped discs are often the result of increasing age; as the lion gets older the spinal discs start to lose their water content. This makes them less flexible and more likely to rupture or split.  There are a number of other factors that can put increased pressure and strain on the spine including bending awkwardly or an injury to the back (such as being kicked by a zebra during a hunt).  Further investigation indicated that the natural process of repair had resulted in some nerves having regenerated, but with aberrant connections.  With veterinary guidance it was decided that Narnia would never be sufficiently fit to return to the release site and has been moved back to Antelope Park.

(ix)  2 lions (Nala, Narnia) were given sanctuary from another breeder to save them from being euthanized.  These lions were successfully integrated into the release program; however, as they are inbred, they were spayed so as to avoid uncontrolled breeding of potentially weak genes within their released pride.

ANTELOPE PARK & LION ENCOUNTER

The following animals are owned by Antelope Park, Lion Encounter Zimbabwe or Lion Encounter Zambia, the commercial operators that founded the African Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Program and with ALERT is partnered.  ALERT presents only summary information here; any queries should be directed to Antelope Park or Lion Encounter as ALERT does not hold detailed records of lions not owned by the Charity. 

Year Opening
Balance
In (ii)    Out (iii) Born   Died (iv) Closing
Balance
Net
Change
2005 49 (i) 3 0 7 7 52 +3
2006 52 6 0 17 6 69 +17
2007 69 0 0 10 6 73 +4
2008 73 17 6 0 2 82 +9
2009 82 6 4 8 2 90 +2
2010 90 15 2 7 6 104 +14
2011 104 13 7 6 10 106 +2
2012 106 8 1 12 11 114 +8
2013 114 4 0 11 4 125 +11
2014 125 2 0 14 2 139 +14

 

Location  No.  Status No. Lions
Antelope Park 100 Part of the Release Program 71 Achillies, Africa, Alika, Amandla, Amani, Amghela, Apollo, Arthur, Arusha, Casper, Chabalala, Chaka, Chando, Chemma, Chengeta, Chete, Chisa, Chobe, Chundu, Dala, Damisi, Dingane, Echo, Etosha, Jabari, Jelani, Kanu, Kariba, Kaya, Kosey, Kundiso,  Kwezi, Laili, Landela, Lewa, Lina, Lisha, Lokothula, Lozi, Ltalo, Luangwa, Lungile, Mamba, Mambo, Mana, Masai,  Maximus, Maxwell, Meeka, Mufasa, Paka, Paza, Pendo, Penduka, Penya, Pezulu, Phoenix, Praise, Rusizi, Ruvubu, Sahara, Sango, Savuti, Sengwa, Sikumi, Swahili, Thembile, Thuli, Tsavo, Wadiwa, Washe
    Sanctuary A (v) 8 Amy, Ariel, Cheeky, Cleo, Elsa, Emma, Melanie, Zuva
    Sanctuary B (v) 3 Anna, Lulu, Mafuta
    Sanctuary C (v) 2 Ezulu, Nadia
    Sanctuary D (v) 16 Bakari, Batoka, Big Boy, Boma, Kenya, Kufara, Kutanga, Lola, Mara, Monde, Moyo, Mvuthu, Nandi, Soriah, Simba, Slwane
Lion Encounter Zimbabwe 4 Part of the Release Program 2 Fumani, Vithikazi
    Sanctuary C (v) 2 Savannah, Shingalana
Lion Encounter Zambia 35 Part of the Release Program 33 Damara, Dendi, Kasama, Kovu, Madoda, Munali, Nacha, Nalo, Namwala, Ndulu, Nembwe, Nkoya, Nyika, Nuru, Rundi, Saba, Sadiki, Safiya, Samaya, Sarabi, Sekani, Sekulu, Songwe, Subi, Tanaka2, Tisa, Toka, Tswana, Tula, Tunya, Zambezi, Zamfara, Zaria
    Sanctuary C (v) 2 Bemba, Bisa
TOTAL 140      

Figures correct as at 3rd August 2014

Notes

(i)  These 36 lions form the founder population for the release program

(ii)  76 lions have been acquired during the period:

a.       2005: 3 (Becka, TJ & J-Leigh) were rescued from a breeder within Zimbabwe.

b.       2006: 6 (Big Boy, Nala, Nandi, Narnia, Nduna & Nirvana) were rescued from a breeder within Zimbabwe.

c.       2008: 7 (Batoka, Bhubesi, Lee-Lee, Lola, Simba, Slwane, Soriah) were rescued from two different breeders within Zimbabwe.  10 (Kela, Kwandi, Leya, Loma, Rundi, Rusha, Temi, Toka, Tswana, Zulu) were brought in from a breeder in South Africa to form the founder population of Lion Encounter Zambia.

d.       2009: 6 (Damisi, Dhakiya, Jabari, Jelani, Kanu, Kosey) were brought in from a breeder within Zimbabwe to extend genetic diversity within the program.

e.       2010: 8 (Bakari, Boma, Kenya, Kufara, Kutanga, Monde, Moyo, Mvuthu) were rescued from a breeder within Zimbabwe.  7 (Bemba, Bisa, Nyika, Rufiji, Ruma, Rwanda, Subi) were brought into the program at the request from a breeder in South Africa.

f.        2011: 1 (Mara) was rescued from a breeder within Zimbabwe.  12 (Chete, Damara, Dendi, Laili, Madoda, Munali, Paza, Savuti, Sengwa, Zambezi, Zamfara, Zaria) were brought in from a breeder in South Africa to extend genetic diversity within the program.

g.       2012: 1 (Dynamite) was a wild lion captured under problem animal control in the Livingstone area of Zambia.  7 (Kasama, Kovu, Namwala, Nembwe, Nkoya, Thembile, Thuli) were brought in from a breeder in South Africa to extend genetic diversity within the program.

h.       2013: 4 (Rusizi, Ruvubu, Wadiwa, Washe) were brought in from a breeder within Zimbabwe to extend genetic diversity within the program.

i.       2014: 2 (Fumani, Vithikazi)) were brought in from a breeder in South Africa to extend genetic diversity within the program.

(iii)  20 lions have left the program during the period:

a.       2008: 6 (Ashanti, Athena, Kenge, Nala, Narnia, Phyre) were donated to ALERT by Antelope Park for release.

b.       2009: 2: (Alice, Mickey) were given to Zambezi Nature Sanctuary in Victoria Falls at their request.  Alice (aged 9) was stunted. Mickey (aged 7) had deformities of his reproductive system.  1 (Nduna) was given to Ballyvaughan Sanctuary in Harare at their request.  Nduna had been rescued by Antelope Park from a breeder within Zimbabwe and was inbred.  1 (Teddy) was given to Imire wildlife conservation centre at their request.  Teddy was no longer required as a breeding male at Antelope Park.

c.       2010: 2 (Kwali, Milo) were donated to ALERT by Antelope Park for release       .

d.       2011: 7 (Kela, Kwandi, Leya, Loma, Rusha, Temi, Toka, Zulu) were donated to ALERT by Lion Encounter Zambia for release.

e.       2012: 1 (Dynamite) was a wild lion captured during problem animal control that was given to the Zambia Wildlife Authority for release into Kafue National Park.

(iv)  56 lions have died during the period:

a.       2005: 2 (unnamed) were cubs that failed to thrive during the first days post-partum – known cause was enlarged hearts at birth.  2 (J-Leigh, TJ) were killed by a train in Zambezi National Park.  1 (Leo) was euthanized due to complications caused by vitamin A deficiency.  1 (Lucky) was euthanized due to hip displacement.  1 (Rusha) was euthanized after suffering a broken leg sustained during a fight with other lions.

b.       2006: 2 (unnamed) were cubs that failed to thrive during the first days post-partum – known cause was pneumonia.  4 (Kate, Kitty, Lucy, Penga) were euthanized due to deformities caused by old age.

c.       2007: 4 (Josephine, Mampara, Muti, Nirvana) were killed during fights with other lions.  1 (Becka) died from complications arising from leukemia).  1 (Rosie) died as a result of an eptopic pregnancy.

d.       2008: 1 (PK) was found dead in her enclosure – indications are that she choked on what she was eating.  1 (Amanzi) died as a resulting of multiple internal organ failures.

e.       2009: 2 (unnamed) were cubs that failed to thrive during the first days post-partum – specific cause unknown.

f.        2010: 3 (2 unnamed, Special K) were cubs that failed to thrive during the first days post-partum – one was still born the others died from no known specific cause.  1 (Sandy) was euthanized after she attacked a young girl who pushed her hand through the enclosure fence.  1 (Kumuka) was euthanized due to heart problems.  1 (Langa) died due to a peptic ulcer and perforated stomach lining.    

g.       2011:  5 (unnamed) were cubs that failed to thrive during the first days post-partum – one was still born, one has a twisted gut and the others died from no known specific cause. 1 (Chipo) died from a disease affecting her lungs, possible related to her FIV+ status. 2 (Dhakiya, Luke) died as a result of fights with other lions. 2 (Rufiji, Ruma) were euthanized due to degenerative joint disorder.

h.       2012: 5 (unnamed) were cubs that failed to thrive during the first days post-partum – two were still born, one was crushed by its mother and two were neglected by their mother.  1 (Rwanda) was euthanized due to degenerative joint disorder.  2 (Kali, Lee-Lee) died as a result of fights with other lions.  3 (Acacia, Amber, Disa) died as a result of multiple internal organ failures.

i.        2013: 1 (Puma) died from hepatitis.  1 (Tanaka) died from rabies.  1 (Thulani) died as a result of a fight with other lions.

j.        2014: 1 (Bhubesi) dies as a result of a fight with other lions.  1 (Msasa) died due to complications during the birth of cubs.

(v)  33 lions are being provided sanctuary for the following reasons:

a.       Type A:  8 (Amy, Ariel, Cheeky, Cleo, Elsa, Emma, Melanie, Zuva) lions are FIV positive and are not suitable for breeding or release.

b.       Type B: 3 (Anna, Lulu & Mafuta) are breeding females that are deemed to be too old to continue with that status.  

c.       Type C:  6 (Bemba, Bisa, Ezulu, Nadia, Savannah, Shingalana) have been deemed not suitable for breeding for release due to identified genetic defects.

d.       Type D:  16 (Bakari, Batoka, Big Boy, Boma, Kenya, Kufara, Kutanga, Lola, Mara, Monde, Moyo, Mvuthu, Nandi, Nyika, Soriah, Simba, Slwane, Subi) lions were brought to Antelope Park & Lion Encounter Zambia from other lion owners / breeders, in most cases to save them from being euthanized.  Where possible such lions are being integrated into the release program.