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Read: Snake Removal

The call of Africa||Lionspruit news

Why we should monitor our lions :2019

Monitoring the lions in Lionspruit is more than a pleasurable duty. We have two lions here. The large male is nick-named ‘Fluffy’ because as a young lion he had an enormous fluffy mane. The lioness is nick-named ‘Dezi’ or ‘Little Lady’. She is a skilled huntress.

The objectives of the monitoring programme are as follows:

  • To monitor that the lions are killing prey regularly as well as scavenging.
  • To check that they are in good condition and have no serious injuries.
  • To check that they remain in Lionspruit. Although it is fenced with ‘Big 5 fencing’, lions use warthog burrows and holes in the fences to get out of Lionspruit. Dezi did just that some months ago when she pulled an impala through the fence into Marloth Park.
  • To check that the lions have not been caught in a snare, which happened some years ago.

Our Nkomazi Municipal Rangers are responsible for the well-being of our lions and they patrol regularly looking for snares.

The Marloth Park Honorary Rangers work for and with the Municipal Rangers to assist in the valuable task of monitoring our Lionspruit lions.

There is nothing like hearing wild lions roaring in our piece of Africa. Fluffy and Dezi keep this excitement for all who live in, or visit Marloth Park.

Joce Gordon

Marloth Park Honorary Ranger 12/05/19

Bush Encroachment Project


Following on the analysis undertaken last week by Jaco Minnaar, John Webber and Joce Gordon together with Andre Engelbrecht, the Bush Encroachment Project started on Thursday 9 April.  Andre, who previously worked for the Parks Board, gave the group suggestions and advice. 

There are very many areas which need attention but the decision was made to start with the area which was burnt last year and to attend to the coppicing bushes.  The priority will be to attend to the Tourist Roads where bush encroachment is a severe problem.

The team consisting of Honorary Rangers and Nkomazi Municipality Field Workers started clearing the area all small trees and bushes except for the protected or rare species.  The project is very time consuming and labour intensive will be done on a continuous basis.  The Honorary Rangers have bought a heavy duty clearing machine for this project.  The Field Workers attended to the smaller trees and bushes with pangas.  The stumps have been treated with herbicide.

It will be a long term project and all who would like to join in to help, will be very welcome.  See all photos here

'Mama Cat'


The ‘Old Lady’ (Mama Cat) was euthanized during June 2014.  She was very thin due to the bad condition of her teeth.  Her approximate age was 16 – and in the wild she would have not survived to this age.

It is always sad to have to put an animal down.  Mpumalanga Parks Board and Nkomazi Municipality made the final decision and the euthanizing was done by Park Board’s vet in a most professional manner and with the assistance of our Municipal Rangers, John Webber (Chief Honorary Ranger)  and Joce Gordon (Deputy Chief Honorary Ranger).

 We have had our lions in Lionspruit officially since December 2003 – that is for nearly 11 years.  Our choice was to let Mama Cat die of starvation as she was not able to eat well, or to euthanize her.  If we had chosen the former (which is extremely cruel as starvation is a horrible death) then the other lions would have accepted her demise.  However, as they did not see her die, they continued to look for her and call for her for a few weeks after her being euthanized.

The male, called Fluffy due to his beautiful, full mane and Dezi (also known as Little Lady) are moving around together and are both in good condition.  These photos were taken on 9 July.

At this point in time, it has been decided to leave just these two lions in Lionspruit.  The possibility of putting in another 2 lionesses and taking Dezi out has been shelved for the time being.



Our vision

hrOur vision is to support and assist the Nkomazi Municipality Conservation Department within Marloth Park with their management strategies and objectives while being an effective volunteer group. 
Read a brief  History of Honorary Rangers and the Conservancy

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