NguvuKazi – the hard working one – son of Nosiktik from Ndutu’s Masek pride

MAS-13, aka “NguvuKazi” (meaning the Hard Working one) born January 2015 in Ndutu’s Masek pride to Nosikitok. At the age of two-three he moved on with his cousin “Lasararwa” as a dispersing nomad. From evidence of camera traps, we learned that it was these two males that suddenly turned up in the Olbalbal swamp, NW of Crater, in June 2018. Our attempts to see and to collar them while they were in area failed. On 1st Sept 2018 we got lucky; on a normal lion monitoring day in the Crater we found two unknown lions in the Crater. This is very unusual; many years pass between us finding unknown lions on the lion-dense Crater floor. We managed to get immediate permission and assistance by the NCA Authority to deploy a collar on NguvuKazi on that same day. Since then we have been able to follow NguvuKazi’s footsteps since entry and establishment into the Crater. The two young males succeeded to take over as resident males in the Crater’s Lakes pride. Lasararwa went missing in November, likely killed by other lions, leaving NguvuKazi a solitary male – very vulnerable to fights with other males. We document NguvuKazi mating with the Lakes females, shifting in and out of the Crater – often together with females and juveniles of the Lakes pride, occasionally taking livestock but luckily seem to have a greater appetite for wild prey. NguvuKazi and members of the Lakes pride spent most of the rainy season out of the Crater, in the wildlife abundant highlands south-west of the Crater. The lions kept our Ilchokuti on their toes. This is a highly populated area, where lion presence and depredation conflicts could quickly trigger the area’s warriors into hunting and spearing them.

In December his GPS collar started failing – likely caused by damage from a fight, and we had occasional positions coming in from the collar until 14th February, when the collar seized functioning. By this time – now in the height of the rainy season with its abundance of wild prey – NguvuKazi and his new-found companions ventured further afield, including the highly populated Kiloki Valley. We keep on the lookout for NguvuKazi and his mates, and we keep getting signs of lions in the area that may well be our missing friend.

NguvuKazi September 2016

NguvuKazi immobilized and collared in September 2018

NguvuKazi from Ndutu’s Masek pride mixing with Lakes pride lions LK98 and LK107 of the Crater, February 2019 

NguvuKazi and his 3 new-pals from the the Crater, adding strength in numbers

NguvuKazi March 2019

NguvuKazi

NguvuKazi and LK137 in the Crater September 2019