Saturday, July 19, 2008

Batias Still on Honeymoon

Being around 15 years of age the Batia brothers are still mating and dominating their territory. Monique and myself went on holiday the 29th of June. I freelanced for another lodge for two drives on the 4th of July and saw them mating behind the lodge. We came back from leave on the 13th of July. They were still going at it very strongly. If you work it out they are mating now for almost two weeks, even more amazingly it will happen every 15-20 minutes. So the old boys still got it. The worst part of it all is that the females are their daughters and it is the first time they are in oestrus.

The young brother of the females also realized that he likes the girls!! So now he wants to join in on the family bonding, but what he doesn't realize is that he could get really badly hurt. I saw yesterday that he is keeping his distance now after one of the Batias made him realize where he stands in the hierarchy!

It was really great to see the old boys doing their stuff and actually see how the mating rituals and behavior is unfolding 5 meters from the vehicle. The two brothers were together yesterday and to see them preventing the females from leaving there sight was great(the way they did it). They did everything to keep them under control, but the females knew they got the playing cards. It was amazing when they walked along how the males made little gentle grunting sounds all the time trying to get the female to lie down. Every time she gets away from him he hooks her gently closer with his front paw. Almost unbelievable that this beast can be so gentle and loving. We could see that they are desperate for food as well , but the energy levels are extremely low at this point. I am not sure for how much longer the Batias are going to be in control and part of the females pride.

There are two younger males called the Tsholo Mateyas, beautiful maned lions wanting to take over. The older female are already with these two males and they are walking around and scent marking all over the show. All I can say is that the Batias had there innings and maybe it is time for them to step down.

I will keep you up to date what is going on in Batia country!

Till next time!



Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Boy, they really are beautiful, aren't they? Wonderful shots!

Photo-Africa said...

Great post Grant! Seems like the old boys still go tit!!

Can't wait to get back to Madikwe! :)

Grant Marcus said...

Thanx Sandpiper,Gerry

They are really legends in their own right!

SAPhotographs said...

That is a long mating period!! Beautiful shot of them Grant!!