We are excited to add another post to our Lion of Kruger segment and today’s post we have a lion enthusiast, Thorben Seik, as our guest to discuss the four Shishangeni males. The post and information was provided by Thorben.
So on this post, Thorben wanted to lay the focus on a coalition that is quite well known among the Kruger wildlife fans, yet they’ve never really get the same attention as certain other coalitions of male lions and thus unfortunately their story is rather filled with lots of guesses, assumptions and question marks than confirmed facts.
This may have to do with the part of Kruger that the Shishangeni males are located in, as the stories of the south-east of the park partially went unnoticed over the last years on social media. Despite of this the four Shishangeni males managed to make a name for themselves over the last decade which surely and mainly has to do with their impressive appearances, big bulky bodies and huge dark manes will always catch a photographer’s attention and that was the case with these four beautiful lions.
Born around 2011/2012 into the Shishangeni pride and sired by the famous Gomondwane coalition, the Shishangeni males at some point became the pride males of the Vurhami pride, the Hippo Pools pride, whose two former pride males they ousted long ago, as well as the Gomondwane pride they most likely took over from their fathers, they also fathered the impressive Mjejane males.
They used to be mainly seen on the H4-2 and S28, and close to the Shishangeni concession, but towards the end of 2018 and this year they’ve moved further west and since then spend a lot of time around the crocodile river close to Marloth Park and the S25.
Their departure from the Shishangeni concession could also have been influenced by the seven Gomondwane males that took over that area. This territory shift resulted in an unclear situation for their prides, lacking in the males‘ appearances in the original Vurhami prides‘ territory as well as the Gomondwane prides‘ area where they haven’t been seen in ages.
Their many movements went that far that in September 2019 they even chased two of the four S26 males (of which the Styx males are part of) around the Mpondo Dam area. While they have a decent amount of offspring with the Hippo Pools pride and currently six sub adult sons with the Vurhami pride (along with more Vurhami offspring) there seems to be one more unidentified pride on the S25 further west of the Hippo Pools pride territory towards the S108/S26 that raises a couple of young males.
Overall a good testament of their success, with many good years that lie behind this impressive coalition it unfortunately seems now that their power has begun to crumble a bit. With the fourth coalition member seemingly being missed for many months now (the sightings over the last six months always showed three males at a max) another one of the brothers is suffering from an atrophied hind leg that has clearly gotten worse over the last months, leaving only two males in perfect shape, this doesn’t necessarily have to mean the beginning of the end for this magnificent coalition, that dominated the south for many years, with some luck on their side they could go on for maybe two more years, but it surely has reached a point where every sighting of them should be appreciated before they leave the Kruger National Park forever.
We would like to thank Thorben for providing us with this post and you can look forward to more content on lions from him on the blog.
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