A video of the Mohlabetsi male lion coalition taken on the 25th of October 2016 as they patrol their territory. They are 8 in total, but the last few months a total of only 6 were seen together at any one time. The big dark Mohlabetsi male is remarkable in the sense that he allowed a young unrelated male to stay with the Mohlabetsi pride when he took control of their territory. He then also allowed his 6 sons to stay and never chased them away from his territory as is usually the norm.

Male lions usually kills the cubs of lionesses when taking over a pride. Valuable time will be lost as lionesses cater for other males’ cubs when the male could be mating and spreading his own genes. Lionesses would start mating with the new males shortly thereafter. They would normally only go into oestrus about 6 months later giving them time to assess the strength of the new coalition and chance of a longterm reign as it is an expensive and energy consuming exercise, getting pregnant and raising cubs, only to loose them by infanticide before they can fend for themselves.

Young male lions will be chased away by their fathers somewhere between 3 and 4 years of age, before they would become a threat to their superiority.

The Mohlabetsi male did neither and is probably reaping the rewards with being the undisputed king of a male lion coalition of 8 that would provide security of territory for years to come. He might loose his status as ruler in the not too distant future, but will probably live on to a ripe old age for a male lion as he would still enjoy the protection of the coalition. His brother, Kudyela/Duma, has already lost his territory which was situated further to the west. He has been seen in Timbavati and Klaserie and will hopefully survive a bit longer, although chances are slim, having already been ousted from Balule by the Mohlabetsi coalition and the 2 Singwe males.