We bring you a new installment in our Lions of Kruger segment, we focus on the “Young” Jock Males on today’s post.
The young Jock lions get their name from the Jock pride and not from the Jock male lions. The young Jock males were born at the end of 2014, and they were fathered by the four Stolsnek males.
In 2014 the Jock pride added ten new cubs to the pride, and out of the ten, six were male lions.
All of the six male lions were seen together in the December of 2017 in the Jock concession, at the time they were three years old and were seen looking healthy and robust.
Towards the end of 2018, four of the males started moving further south on the H3 towards Malelane, one of the lions was seen around the Jock concession and the 6th lion was believed to be missing.
We do not have many updates on the two males from the coalition, but in retrospect the four males are doing great, they seem to have established a territory around the Malelane and Berg en Dal area, they appear to have taken over that area in the last few months, they are often seen on the southern part of the H3, on both the tar and sand road of the S110.
Even though they have been seen mating with a lioness on the S110, they actually have an overlapping territory with the Eastern Bank males. We assume that both coalitions have confronted each other on more than one occasion since both coalitions have been seen supporting injuries from possible altercations.
Big cat enthusiast Hanno Erasmus who has a knack for finding lions in the Kruger National Park, found the young Jock males on several occasions in the latter part of 2019. Below are some of his photos of them.
Each sighting of these males they seem to look more impressive, here is a comparison photo of one the males, the photo is 2 months apart.
We were really hoping to spot the young Jocks on our recent trip, we had gone looking for them on a few occasions, only to have either just missed them or for them to be in the same area we were in the day before.
They didn’t disappoint though, on our last day of our trip on the 03/01/2020 we were staying at Berg en Dal and as usual we were first at the gate waiting for the 4:30AM opening, we watched the early morning drive vehicle of SANParks leave just after 4:00AM. As soon as 4:30 struck and the gates were open we made our way down the S110 tar road and turned onto the H3, we approached the S110 sand road intersection and shortly after, there they were all four males in the road being followed by the morning drive vehicle we had seen leaving.
The vehicle had their bright lights shining, so it made it difficult to get any good photo, we reversed our car giving them space as they walked in the road before other cars started to arrive. The lions eventually moved off in the bush, we anticipated they would cross over the S110 sand road so we made our way onto it hoping to intercept them, we covered the area we thought they would cross, eventually they popped out and crossed the road before going to lay in the riverbed.
We stayed with them for a while before we saw all 4 get up and start running, it was the morning walk who had startled them.
We hope to find them on our next trip to see how they have changed in the short months.
Thank you so much for reading.
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