Torra Bay Updates. 25 & 26 dec

Thursday 29 December 2022

The lioness Xpl-108 spent the entire day/night hunting terrestrial animals in the Uniab Delta area. She attempted several hunts on springboks and ostriches. Whenever she spotted gemsbok, even at distances of >2 kms and especially when juvenile animals were present, she would embark on a long and intensive stalking process. During the night, however, she killed and consumed a smallish animal, most likely a gemsbok calf or a juvenile springbok. more >>

Lioness at Torra Bay

Monday 26 December 2022

The Obab lioness Xpl-108 arrived at the coast on 18 Dec 2022. After killing a large Cape fur seal during the early morning hours of 19 Dec 2022, she proceeded to drag the carcass for a total distance of 4.1km. Across a large salt pan and then to the very top of the white granite ridges close to the main road (see map & images below). There she lay for three days eating her carcass in peace and watching every movement of the angling parties on the beaches. more >>

Floodplain Pride

Monday 26 December 2022

The two Orphan lionesses brought their two small cubs to the coast for the second time. They spent several hours on the beach, but by early morning as vehicle traffic increased, the lionesses dragged the seal carcass across the main road, over a large ridge, and out of view. After the lions consumed the seal carcass and vacated the area, biological samples were collected from the seal remains. more >>

Update on lions and anglers at Torra Bay

Thursday 22 December 2022

After moving inland for 22 days, the Obab lioness Xpl-108 returned to the coast on 18 Dec 2022 (see map). Shortly after nightfall she reached the coastline at point X4 on the map. She caught and consumed a small Cape fur seal pup and continued moving northwards along the beach. She scavenged on a shark that was presumably the by-product of an angler’s catch the previous day, before catching an adult female or sub-adult male seal. more >>

Coastal movements and human-lion conflict management at Torra Bay

Friday 2 December 2022

During the past year several groups of lions have frequented the coastal habitats and have utilised marine food sources (mainly Cape fur seals) between the Koigab seal colony, the Uniab Delta and the Hoanib River mouth. The discovery of Cape fur seals and other marine food items by the Desert lion population is a significant development from both a biological and conservation point of view..... more >>

The legacy of Xpl-10

Thursday 27 October 2022

The building and articulation of the skeleton of the legendary lioness Xpl-10 “Queen” was both a challenging and emotional experience. It required nearly three weeks of intense and uninterrupted work to identify and understand the functions and positioning of each of the 287 bones. more >>

Leopard studies and other activities

Thursday 29 September 2022

After discussions with the Ministry of Environment, Tourism & Forestry an agreement was reached to expand research activities to include leopards in and around the Skeleton Coast National Park. The first effort is concentrating on the elusive male leopard of the Uniab Delta. A capture cage and related equipment was setup along a reed-bed at the Uniab Delta. The cage is monitored via satellite in order to respond immediately if the cage has been triggered. more >>

Hoanib lions and cubs

Thursday 15 September 2022

The Orphan lioness Xpl-106 “Alpha” regularly moved her cubs to new and secure lairs. Over a period of four hours, following disturbances caused by tour operators, she moved the cubs from the eastern part of the Floodplain for 15 km to a small cave out of the tourism area. The lioness eventually returned after 36 hours to lead them to a new location. more >>

Obab lionesses update

Tuesday 13 September 2022

The newly designed and modified Land Cruiser research vehicle have performed remarkably well in the field. Despite all the research equipment and additions to the vehicle, it remains relatively light and behaves well over the rough terrain. Several new additions and modifications were added to meet the observation and research requirements. more >>

Death of an Ugab lioness.

Monday 12 September 2022

During mid-May 2022 a mortality signal was received from the Ugab lioness Xpl-116 on the foothills of Brandberg mountain. The first investigation a few days later failed due to the presence of another lion or leopard that was growling when the site was approached on foot. Several weeks later during mid-July 2022, we returned to the site. more >>