Lions in the Release Program

Lions in the Release 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.

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.

YearOpening
Balance
InOutBornDiedClosing
Balance
Net
Change
200806 (i)00066
20096000060
201062 (ii)00082
201187 (iii)015 (iv)10 (v)2012
201220003 (iv)3 (v)200
201320003 (vi)0233
201423003 (vi)0263
2015260000260
2016260001 (vii)25-1
2017250001 (viii)24-1
2018240000240
201924000123-1
2020230000
Total150241623
LocationNo.StatusLions
Ngamo6Released
Ashanti, Kenge, Kwali, Milo, Nala (ix), Phyre
5Born in the release site
MiAs4, MiAs5, MiAt1, MiKe3, MiKe4
Dambwa5Released
Kela, Kwandi, Loma, Leya, Rusha2
4Born in the release site
ZuLe, ZuLe3, ZuRs1, ZuRs3
Antelope Park1SanctuaryAthena (x)
Livingstone2SanctuaryTemi, Zulu (xi)
TOTAL23

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)  Narnia was euthanized on 30th April 2016.

(viii)  ZuRs2 was found dead in the lion release site on 6th November 2017,  This lion was being treated at the time for tick-borne anaemia and failed to recover. 

(ix)  Nala was given sanctuary from another breeder to save them from being euthanized.  Nala was successfully integrated into the release program; however, as she is inbred, she was spayed to avoid uncontrolled breeding of potentially weak genes within the released pride.

(x)  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 lion enclosures.

(xI)  Temi was removed from the Dambwa Release site and placed back in the lion enclosures following indications that she had been ousted from the pride. 

Antelope Park (Gweru), Wildlife Encounter ( Victoria Falls & Livingstone)

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

YearOpening
Balance
In (ii)Out (iii)BornDied (iv)Closing
Balance
Net
Change
200551 (i)3277521
200652601766917
20076900106734
20087317602829
2009826482902
2010901427610313
20111031376101052
20121058112111138
20131134011412411
20141242014413612
201513600841404
20161400036137-3
20171370019111458
20181450203140-5
20191404317135-5
2020135
Total772712389
LocationNo.StatusNo.Lions
Antelope Park68Part of the Release Program43
Alika, Amani, Amghela, Arusha, Casper, Chete, Chobe, Chundu, Damisi, Echo, Fumani, Kanu, Kariba, Kaya, Kosey, Kundiso, Laili, Lalamika, Lalapanzi, Lekker, Lila, Lina, Lisha, Liuwa, Ltalo, Luana, Lupane, Mana, Paka, Paza, Pendo, Penya, Pezulu, Phembela, Pumbaa, Sahara, Savuti, Sengwa, Sikumi, Swahili, Tamuka, Tonga, Vithikazi,
Sanctuary A (v)8
Amy, Chemma, Cleo, Elsa, Lulu, Melanie, Zuva, Maximus
Sanctuary B (v)6
Ezulu, Nadia, Savannah, Shingalana, Meeka, Ruva
Sanctuary C (v)11
Bakari, Batoka, Boma, Kufara, Kutanga, Mara, Monde, Mvuthu, Nandi, Simba, Soriah
Wildlife Encounter Zimbabwe36Part of the Release Program10
Kalanga, Khumalo, Kion, Pax, Paya, Penga2, Enzi, Ekhaya, Endulo, Etana
Sanctuary A (v)24
Praise, Rusizi, Dala, Thuli, Wadiwa, Apollo, Phoenix, Mamba, Mambo, Kwezi, Chabalala,Chengeta, Chando, Chaka, Lungile, Luangwa, Lozi, Lokothula, Tsavo, Jabari, Jelani, Moyo, Ruvubu, Chisa
Sanctuary B (v)2Shaka, Lumba
ALERT Zambia31Part of the Release Program29
Dendi, Kasama, Kovu, Madoda, Munali, Nacha, Nalo, Namwala, Ndulu, Nembwe, Nkoya, Nuru, Rundi, Saba, Sadiki, Safiya, Samaya, Sarabi, Sekani, Sekulu, Songwe, Tanaka2, Tisa, Toka, Tswana, Tula, Zambezi, Zamfara, Zaria,
Sanctuary A (v)2Nyika, Subi
TOTAL135

As at 24th August 2018, a total of 149 lions (including 3 owned by ALERT) of different ages were being held in enclosures:

Total enclosure space in use:             56,467 m2    
Average enclosure size in use:             1,344 m2

Average area per lion (all lions):             379 m2
Average area per adult lion (>4years):   556 m2

Average number of lions in an enclosure:    3.5    

Based on the ages and weights of the lions currently in the program, on average the enclosures are 184% larger than the suggested minimum by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and 560% larger than those suggested by the animal welfare organization Big Cat Rescue (BCR).

An ongoing program to upgrade facilities exists building larger and more complex enclosures as funds become available.

Notes

(i)  These 51 lions form the founder population for the release program

(ii)  74 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)  24 lions have left ownership during the period:

a.       2005: 2 (Abby, Tamba) were sold to another lion breeder within Zimbabwe.

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

c.       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.

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

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

f.       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.

g.      2017: 2 (Bemba, Bisa) were donated to Protea Hotel Lusaka Safari Lodge following their request for two lions to replace two they owned that died of old age.  Bemba and Bisa were lions being provided sanctuary by Wildlife Encounter and were not suitable for release.

(iv)  76 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) died as a result of a fight with other lions.  1 (Msasa) died due to complications during the birth of cubs. 1 (Damara) was euthanized after treatment for a range of neurological symptoms failed to resolve the problems.  Post mortem indicated abnormal growth of the brain casing, possibly caused by hypovitaminosis A. 1 (Tunya) was euthanized after treatment for a broken leg was not successful.  It was assumed he broke it after falling out of a tree during the night in his enclosure.

k.      2015: 2 (Lewa, Thembile) died as a result of a fights with other lions. 2 (Anna, Mafuta) died from acute kidney failure as a consequence of old age.

l.       2016: 1 (Etosha) died of liver failure.  1 (Runako) was euthanised aged 16 weeks after a birth defect in the cubs kidneys was discovered. 1 (Achillies) died naturally – kidney failure. 2 (Unnamed) unborn cubs died as a result of a miscarriage by the mother at 100 days of the gestation period.

m.    2017:  5 cubs failed to thrive during the first days post-partum – two were still born, one died soon after birth due to a hole in the heart, 2 died soon after birth with infection in the abdomen.  1 (Lola) was killed during a fight with another lion. 1 (Ariel) was euthanized – post mortem revealed damage to pancreas, liver and kidneys.  1 (Mufasa) died from kidney failure.  1 (Kadiki) was euthanized due to severe scoliosis.

(v)  34 lions are being provided sanctuary for the following reasons:

a.       Type A:  12 (Amy, Ariel, Cheeky, Chemma, Cleo, Elsa, Emma, Lulu, Melanie, Nyika, Subi, Zuva) are breeding females deemed to be too old to continue with that status.

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

c.       Type C:  16 (Bakari, Batoka, Big Boy, Boma, Kenya, Kufara, Kutanga, Lola, Mara, Monde, Moyo, Mvuthu, Nandi, Soriah, Simba, Slwane) lions were brought to Antelope Park from other lion owners / breeders, in most cases to save them from being euthanised.  Where possible such lions are being integrated into the release programme.

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