Finally Capturing and Collaring Lguret

Mar 3, 2010 | Categories: Lions, Research | 7 Comments

We’ve just completed a grueling but successful lion collaring operation in the reserves. The four-day operation was sponsored by Save The Elephants (STE) and involved putting tracking collars on eight elephants and one lion. To be efficient and utilize the time of the visiting Kenya Wildlife Service vet, decided to re-collar Lguret, the male lion we collared a year ago.

Lguret and his brother Loirish spent most of the time hiding in deep bush, in a river that made getting to him impossible. On a few occasions they emerged, and we frantically radioed the vet to come, but as soon as the vet came, the lions disappeared back into hiding. It was frustrating and exhausting work.

On the last day, just when we were starting to lose hope, we tracked for hours and then Jeneria spotted the lions lying under a bush. The vet and an STE car arrived and we prepared ourselves. The anxiety and tension was palpable: it was now or never.

We carefully approached the lions, and the vet successfully made the shot, anesthetizing Lguret while his brother ran off. We jumped into action to remove his old collar, affix his new one, take his measurements, and collect samples. He eventually entered a deep sleep and we finished our tasks quickly.

After administering the antidote, we stayed with the lion to make sure he recovered well. Not bothered by his collar, he eventually walked away to sleep off his wooziness.

The tracking collar will provide valuable data on the lion’s movements in and out of the reserves. The collar does not harm the animal, nor does it even seem to bother him.

After the vet anesthetized Lguret, we waited for him to fall asleep.

Shivani and Jeneria take measurements.

My what big teeth you have!

The Ewaso Lions team and the vets with Lguret. His head is covered to protect his eyes from the sun.

A bit groggy, Lguret woke up and recovered nicely.

This has marked the end of a long attempt to collar Lguret. It has been no easy task: a total of 60 field days over the past 8 months, averaging 12 hours each day, and driving nearly two thousand kilometers! Now we can breathe a sigh of relief that the search is over and now we will be able to capture valuable data that can help ensure the long-term conservation of these incredible animals.

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7 People have left comments on this post

» Kiwipuer said: { Mar 3, 2010 - 10:03:07 }

Shiv & Paul, I am delighted you have re-collared Lguret and hope that this is the beginning of a prolific data gathering period resulting in great lion conservation in Samburu

» Nicole said: { Mar 3, 2010 - 02:03:33 }

How wonderful! Congrats on finally being able to catch up with Lguret! I hope he provides you all with much needed information!!

» Alok said: { Mar 4, 2010 - 01:03:24 }

HI there.. Congrats to you and our team..

Hope all goes well this year. Hello to rusilla from us

» sauwah said: { Mar 4, 2010 - 07:03:48 }

how’s the situation there with the lack of wild prey for lions after the long and hellish drought? we have learned hundreds of zebras and others were relocated to your area, right? so are they striving? and are the lions making successful kills instead of hunting on livestock?

» Lee Burnett said: { Mar 4, 2010 - 02:03:34 }

Congratulations to you and the team, Shivani! What a wonderful result after all that hard work. The kids loved seeing photos of you and the lion collar they had touched!
I sent some lovely photos of Rusila today – I’m sure he’ll be happy with them.

» Stacey said: { Mar 4, 2010 - 06:03:55 }

Hi Ewaso Team,
Whew!! Glad to know you *finally* were able to accomplish this long, difficult, and exhausting task. Four days before finally getting him!! And I thought 1.5 days was hard…
I hope the digital calipers is proving useful and not too sharp and heavy on the end. That thing is like a serious weapon with all that metal! I almost lost it at the airport security screening if I hadn’t realized it and repacked it in my checked luggage.

» ewasolions said: { Mar 20, 2010 - 04:03:04 }

Sauwah – the zebra relocation is taking place in Amboseli which lost so much during the drought last year. Here in Samburu, we lost a lot but there are still herds of impala which are the lion’s main prey in the area. Recently its been a bit hard for them though. We are having unusual rains here and also severe flooding 2 weeks ago. All the prey are scattered and lions moving far in search of prey. I’ll keep you posted.