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  1. #1
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    Default Brandberg lion encounter

    Balanced report from Helge Denker on his tent being ripped in an attack by a lion at the Brandberg (note that his revolver was loaded with bird shot). The drought has seen some unusual lion behaviour, hence the recent decison by MET to relocate four lions from the Tora Conservancy because of human-wildlife conflict (HWC), discussed on this thread.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Very well written, thanks for posting Tony.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quite a surprise in lion behaviour.

    Thanks Tony for the alert and the link.

    Habituation is most definitely an issue which is potentially endangering the visitors as well as the wildlife.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Thanks Tony, very interesting article.

    I found the following sentence confirmatory in supporting my personal thoughts.

    "There are clear indications that, in attempts to ensure sightings and photo opportunities, the Ugab lions have been fed by tourism operators and/or individual tourists. The unusual behaviour of the lion that attacked us may have been triggered by behavioural imprinting that associates vehicles with food".
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    We met Erik Verreynne in CKGR over the weekend and had many discussions about habituated animals and conservation matters.

    One storey I related to him was our last trip to Mabua in 19 where we saw bowls of water and food outside trailers and tents at every camp at Mapaya early one morning when we drove at sunrise. The folk were sleeping I think but this could be seen from the road. We were 2 vehicles.

    Don't know cirmstances and we were tempted to return and speak to them but did not get around to doing it. We were at Mapaya later but the lions only sniffed at the trailer tent and our vehicle on the last day.

    We felt that a serious experience would occur sooner or later by the habituation.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Video of where he caught and killed donkie in the brandberg stables on the 20th April 2021
    Last edited by hein100; 2021/05/06 at 07:21 PM.


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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by hein100 View Post
    Video of where he caught and killed donkie in the brandberg stables on the 20th April 2021
    Sorry i cant get the vid to download


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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    As far as I know, nobody is allowed to camp wild within a radius of 10km from the Brandberg.
    I wonder if this would happen camping wild in Etosha.
    We want it all...lions in our camp where we can walk freely with an elephant at our table and possibly a rhino feeding on the mealipap. Oh, I forgot the leopard in the tree.
    The lions must show up to be looked at, but please do not cone too close. It is again not the lion.
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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by Nambro View Post
    As far as I know, nobody is allowed to camp wild within a radius of 10km from the Brandberg....
    Never heard of that rule, however you may not camp within the Brandberg Reserve, which is mostly clearly marked by signage on most major tracks and routes nearing the Brandberg.
    Quite a few wild camping spots just outside of that demarcated perimeter.

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  14. #10
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    It was published by the MET about 3 years aho
    Quote Originally Posted by Searcher View Post
    Never heard of that rule, however you may not camp within the Brandberg Reserve, which is mostly clearly marked by signage on most major tracks and routes nearing the Brandberg.
    Quite a few wild camping spots just outside of that demarcated perimeter.
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by Nambro View Post
    It was published by the MET about 3 years aho
    correct, it's a national heritage site which is the 10km radius.
    Only use of designated camping sites allowed.
    Last edited by AboutAfrica; 2021/05/09 at 01:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Thanks Tony, very interesting article.

    I found the following sentence confirmatory in supporting my personal thoughts.

    "There are clear indications that, in attempts to ensure sightings and photo opportunities, the Ugab lions have been fed by tourism operators and/or individual tourists. The unusual behaviour of the lion that attacked us may have been triggered by behavioural imprinting that associates vehicles with food".
    I suspect this is more common than realized in these increasing and dangerous encounters ...
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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Thanks Tony, very interesting article.

    I found the following sentence confirmatory in supporting my personal thoughts.

    "There are clear indications that, in attempts to ensure sightings and photo opportunities, the Ugab lions have been fed by tourism operators and/or individual tourists. The unusual behaviour of the lion that attacked us may have been triggered by behavioural imprinting that associates vehicles with food".
    Totally agree but I think it goes maybe even a little further. Feeding probably habituates the animal and it loses it's natural fear of man and to some extent brings dependancy. The real trouble could begin where they are then not fed and they have become dependant on that supply of food. Natural resources are less because of drought, poaching, whatever and then we have man wandering around looking totally helpless. Speculation on my part but I think there are a few lucky people out there from the way this lion was behaving

  18. #14
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Actually quite unlikely that the lions were being fed by tourists or operators, especially since in the last year there have been very few operators or tourists in the area and also the fact that it would be very difficult to feed these lions as the area they cover is very big so it would be a close to impossible task to feed them for photos.

    The problem is the lions have become hungry as prey has become basically non-existent as there is no grazing left due to both the drought as well as over grazing. These Lions were basically starving, and a starving cat becomes a dangerous cat. The one which was in the donkey stables is a good example, he managed to get in, kill a donkey but then was to weak to get out again. He has been relocated.

    It is a very sad situation indeed. A real catch22, on one hand its great that these relocated lions have now been saved from starvation, on the other hand they are now gone from that area and actual conservation has not done its part. At least no lives were lost and the lion was not shot.
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  20. #15
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    on one hand its great that these relocated lions have now been saved from starvation, on the other hand they are now gone from that area and actual conservation has not done its part. At least no lives were lost and the lion was not shot.
    Two very contradictory statements: How has conservation not done its part?
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Two very contradictory statements: How has conservation not done its part?
    I mean in the sense that maybe more could have been done to preserve the prey as well as the lions. Then the lions might have still made it through not needing to be translocated to a sanctuary to avoid starvation. These desert adapted cats are tough as nails and have survived droughts etc before, but there was still prey for them to feed on. Unfortunately game numbers have dropped extensively in the area not only because of drought, but also because of poaching etc etc. There are talks of reintroducing game into the area, but that will not solve any issues now, that is a long process which will come with it's own battles.
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  23. #17
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Two very contradictory statements: How has conservation not done its part?
    Properly cutting down on poaching, maybe.
    Poaching for meat has increased over the years, but during the past year it has just increased exponentially due to people not having an income, unfortunately. And it's all population groups involved in this!

    Then the entire management of the human - wildlife conflict is a bit half-hearted, at least from government side.
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  25. #18
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    Default Re: Brandberg lion encounter

    in 2019 we travelled extensively in the north western area. I have been there a number of times but never have i smelled dead cattle like that . It was a shock . Also deserted villages and people on the move to the nearest road where any government aid might be found . many families have had their stock wiped out by the drought .

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