Radio-Collaring An Ewaso Lion

Feb 16, 2009 | Categories: Lions, Research | 12 Comments

We have our first radio-collared Ewaso lion! On Thursday the 28th of January, I managed to locate Lguret at 6:36 am.  Lguret is a maneless male who I first saw in July 2008 in West Gate Community Conservancy (WGCC) with 2 other males. We called these the “Real Lions” because they came from outside the national reserves, and were truly wild and not habituated to tourist vehicles like the lions in the Reserves. The coalition of 3 lions moved to Samburu National Reserve (SNR) in September 2008 and have been resident in the reserve since then.

Lguret was spotted in the Ewaso Nyiro river with the other male – Loirish.  I stayed with them until the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) vet arrived, Dr Stephen Chege.  The two males did not move much from the dry river-bed and only stood  to drink from a nearby elephant waterhole and to change position each time the sun was on them.

both-males-before-darting.jpg
The two males prior to darting

After Dr Chege arrived, we made plans and decisions of how the lion will be darted and from what position.  I drove into the Ewaso Nyiro and Lguret was darted a few minutes later.  Both males jumped up after Lguret was darted and moved up the river-bank into the saltbush.

gypsy-in-ewaso-nyiro.jpg
Driving into the Ewaso Nyiro finding the right position to dart from

approaching-the-lions.jpg
Approaching the 2 males (lions are on the right of the photo)

lguret-darted.jpg
Lguret darted (see dart near shoulder)

Lguret eventually sat down a few minutes later and we were able to come out of the vehicles.  Dr Chege worked on the health of the lion and took necessary samples, Raphael (Ewaso Lions) and David from Save the Elephants worked on attaching the collar whilst I took all the required measurements.  Lguret was down for a bit under an hour.  Rangers from SNR kept an eye on Loirish, the other male and reinforced the security within the area.

attaching-the-radio-collar.jpg
Attaching the radio-collar

measuring-the-lion.jpg

Taking required measurements

Eventually the antidote was administered and Lguret came fully round under an hour.  We stayed with him to make sure he was in good condition and not affected by the collar and the operation overall.

lguret-with-the-collar.jpg

Lguret recovering well after the radio-collaring

The radio-collaring operation was a success and we now have the first Ewaso Lion collared! This is the first time that movement data from a lion in Samburu is being gathered and this information is crucial for lion conservation and the management of the ecosystem.  I hope that he will move to WGCC and we will be able to learn this key movement between the reserves and the community area.

Many thanks to Paul Thomson for these great photos


Special thanks to the team from Save the Elephants and the African Wildlife Foundation for their assistance with the radio-collaring operation.

Tags: , , , , ,

12 People have left comments on this post



» sauwah said: { Feb 16, 2009 - 08:02:03 }

good job! this collaring definitely will help to track them and will help you to know them even more for their own sake. how old are the boys? are they in good health? all related i assume.

» ewasolions said: { Feb 17, 2009 - 04:02:50 }

Hi Sauwah,
The boys are about 3.5 to 4 years old and are in really good health currently. Especially now with the river dry, they aren’t moving much and just wait and ambush their prey.
More from me soon,
Shivani

» Josep said: { Feb 26, 2009 - 04:02:33 }

Well done Shivani. Looks like a great job. How are things around that area? I heard new male coalition has taken over in Samburu?

Lions on this side of the world keep on misbehaving and Alayne is busy as ever. We caught an enormous male the other day.

Cheers and good luck!

» ewasolions said: { Mar 2, 2009 - 05:03:24 }

Hi Josep,
Great to hear from you. Things here are good – lions doing really well in this dry season, but probably the only animal that is actually doing so well. River has been dry for weeks – hopefully it will rain by the end of the month.
Yes new male coalition took over in September last year which has been good. The males came from West Gate and it is one of them that I have collared.
Hope to catch up with you soon and hope all is well,
Shivani

» Naomi 12345 said: { Jun 15, 2011 - 12:06:01 }

Im doing a donation charity for lion collars so maybe possible next year i can go to Africa to tag some lions i am only 11 years old and im already Want to help endangered animals

» ewasolions said: { Jun 19, 2011 - 07:06:00 }

We love your enthusiasm! Please come visit us and the lions some day.

{ Jan 27, 2010 - 08:01:33 } Introducing Paul – Ewaso Lions
{ Feb 19, 2010 - 11:02:42 } Lions Hunting Baboons – Ewaso Lions