Lions to be introduced to Mountain Zebra

2013-04-16 14:34

Cape Town - Mountain Zebra National Park just outside Cradock in the Eastern Cape will soon have its own lion population. 

Wild Card magazine reports that three lions have already been translocated and are currently in a holding boma.

They are expected to be released at the end of April.

Two of the new arrivals come from Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park stock, while the other is from the Karoo National Park. They were chosen for their genetic similarity and have all been classified as disease-free i.e. they do not suffer from tuberculosis or feline immunodeficiency virus. 

Their introduction makes a lot of sense from a biodiversity point of view, as Cape lions historically occurred in this region. Their prey will consist mainly of larger herbivores, which currently have no natural predators, as the cheetah and hyena in the park typically opt for smaller antelope. 

In small parks with only a few lions, lionesses aren't under threat from strange lions and they can hunt on their own, without the protection and collaboration of the usual family and social network. Since they are able to kill and eat more prey, they are always in great physical condition, which allows them to breed and raise many cubs.

Their behaviour will be closely monitored so that they do not multiply to the detriment of other species in the park.


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