One of the young lionesses introduced last October from Kafue National Park into Liuwa Plain went missing and was killed in a snare. In early June her tracking collar was discovered underwater in a small pan in the Munde River. It had been cut by hand with a knife. Four suspects have been arrested.
Meanwhile, her sister, the second lioness brought from Kafue, went missing at the same time but after intensive searching by ground and air, she was tracked down in the north of the Park. Over the next few days she moved further north, crossing the northern boundary and heading towards the Angolan border, from where African Parks would not have been able to retrieve her.
An arduous rescue operation ensued with African Parks together with the Zambian Carnivore Programme, involving dozens of hours of driving and constant tracking by air as the lioness headed towards Angola, walking an average of 20 km per day. Realising that the roads were too perilous to bring her back safely by road, a helicopter was summoned just before nightfall on 6 June - by now the young lioness had walked over 120km in one week.
On 7 June the search continued and after several hours senior Liuwa scout Roger Monde spotted the young lioness in a reedbed. She was successfully captured with the helicopter. She is currently being held in the lion boma at Liuwa whilst AP explore several alternatives to ensure she is returned safely back into the wild.
We (African Parks) knew that the young lioness’s probability of survival was low if she were to be released back into the wild alone, and that her best chances were to form a bond with Lady Liuwa. We have been surprised how readily Lady Liuwa has adapted to the confined space and accepted her boma companion, allowing her to share wildebeest carcasses with her. The two lionesses will be released from the boma in October when the greatest concentration of wildebeest is in the centre of the park and our hope is that they will remain together.
Sadly a female cheetah was killed shortly after giving birth to cubs. Her scattered remains were discovered in the park in early September, and we believe she was probably killed by hyenas.
Collaring Liuwa wildlife
A major wildlife collaring operation took place in August, with collars replaced or inserted on lion, eland, lechwe, buffalo and hyena. The collaring forms an intrinsic part of our ongoing research and monitoring of reintroduced species at Liuwa in partnership with the Zambia Carnivore Project. More....