PICS: Meet the gorgeous Mozambique lion cubs

2016-10-20 20:26
Picture: Gorongosa Lion Project

Picture: Gorongosa Lion Project

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Maputo - A leading lion project in Mozambique has taken the groundbreaking step of getting the local community to name the latest lion cubs born in the park.

In wildlife areas across the southern African region, often it's conservationists, lodge workers, donors or visitors who "name" local animals for easy recognition. But that can lead to surrounding communities feeling alienated and little-invested in the animals that others hope they will protect.

With the naming of Tambarara, Muanandimae, and Mafambisse,  the Gorongosa Lion Project hopes the move - so seemingly tiny yet so significant - will help safeguard these cubs from snares and poachers.

Traditional chiefs from the areas bordering the 4 000km-squared Gorongosa National Park gave the three-month-old cubs of lion mum Flavia "spiritually significant" names, says Paola Bouley, founder of the project.

She told News24: "Naming any individual immediately creates a bond for that person, and now we have this new channel of communication open between the lions and the chiefs we can discuss the challenges we may encounter, and take snaring and poaching issues that affect these lions directly to the chiefs."

See the pictures by Gorongosa Lion Project here

"It.. opens up a dialogue about Gorongosa's lions we never had before," she added.

Once a top safari destination in Africa, Gorongosa National Park was devastated by two decades of civil war.  Still small, the lion population is now recovering - though Bouley says there are "good years and bad years."


Picture: Gorongosa Lion Project 

"In bad years we can lose as many as seven lions to poaching,"  she said.

The cubs are all named after local revered leaders, according to the project. The hope is that these cubs will grow up healthy and have cubs of their own.

That, says Bouley, "is a success we'd want to share and celebrate together"with the local chiefs and community.

Read more on:    mozambique  |  conservation  |  animals  |  south africa

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