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Golf Course Male Lions

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Golf Course Male Lions

Golf Course Male Lions

by Golf Course Male Lions on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 8:32pm


Please visit the reserve sites that helped with the telling of the"Lives of the Golf Course Males": MalaMala Game Reserve, Londolozi Game Reserve, Elephant Plains Game Lodge, Idube Game Reserve, ArathusaSafari Lodge, Djuma Game Reserve and Nkorho Bush Lodge.


Golf Course/Selati Males

2008 Photo Courtesy of Louise Leger

Territory was mostly in and around the Southern part of the Sabi Sand to include Lion Sands, Londolozi and MalaMala.

The two Golf Course males were born into the Selati/Southern pride during the first half of 2003 (around April 2003 reported by MalaMala).  There were three older males born to the same pride around the end of 2002 or early 2003.  These males were sired by the Rollercoaster males. After the remaining Rollercoaster males moved further North, all five young males seemed to be inclined to takeover their natal pride and were mating with the pride lionesses well into the year 2007.   Towards the end of 2007, the three slightly older males moved off during a split in the pride.  This left the two younger males who took over what remained of the pride and they became known as the Golf Course males, the dominant males of the Selati/Southern pride.

These two males also became the dominant males of the Charleston pride but eventually returned exclusively it seems to the Selati pride by mid 2009.

2008 Photo Courtesy of Louise Leger

The cubs they sired with the Charleston pride did not survive but the Selati pride youngsters still remain in numbers up to possibly eight or nine still surviving out of the original ten.

There is so much more we need to learn about the two Golf Course males and perhaps their story will be told in full one day.

In October 2008, the two Golf Course males were seen in MalaMala eating an emaciated buffalo.  Sadly, it was determined later that the buffalo was riddled with Bovine TB and thus the Golf Course males were more than likely infected.The two males looked weak by the end of 2008 and it was thought one may not survive but by early 2009 they were seen looking healthy and fit again.

By mid July 2009, reports from the West suggested that one may be dead.  With no sightings for a few months of either of them, the thoughts that both may be dead were emerging.

October 2009 proved those thoughts wrong. Mala Mala reported seeing both the males following a buffalo herd on their reserve.  They seemed to be in excellent condition.  The dark maned male with his normal limping gait and the blonde male seeming to have become the more dominant of the two. (Read more of their story at

That was the last sighting of the two by Mala Mala.


2008 Photo courtesy of Louise Leger

What became of the blonde Golf Course male is unknown at this time.The only reports being that he is dead.  There was a report out of Londolozi around the first week or 10 days into December 2009 that two of the Mapogo/Eyrefield males (Kinky Tail and Mr T/Satan) had killed an adult male lion near their airstrip.  Could this have been the Blonde Brother?


The dark maned limping male, his story continues.

2008 Photo courtesy of Louise Leger

Idube Game Reserve reported seeing a limping male with a sparse mane towards the end of 2009. They viewed him in prime Mapogo (Mapogo male lions) territory for several months.  After that he was viewed in Arathusa and Elephant Plains areas.  By this time, his mane loss made him look like a young male lion with a not fully developed mane and he was known for a short while as the "Arathusa Male".

December 2009 Photo - Courtesy of Rob Vamplew of Idube Game Reserve

Thanks to Adam at Londolozi, Rob at Idube and Andrew at Mala Mala, it was confirmed that the male traversing the areas from the end of 2009 into the first half of 2010 was indeed the surviving 7 plus year old Golf Course male.  Andrew described this Golf Course male as "the one brother has a dark mane. limps and has a patch missing out of his back left hip".  Clearly describing the same lion Rob and Adam had inquired about.

Note the patch or bald spot on his left hip in this 2008 photo again kindly provided by Louise Leger.

He continued to be seen throughout the area (Londolozi, Elephant Plains, Arathusa, Djuma and surrounding reserves). Videos of some of these sightings will be included below.

Reports from the reserves he was frequenting indicated he was declining in health steadily. He scavenged kills, stole from leopards, pushed himself in on kills by the Majingilane males and Nkhuma young males.  Elephant Plains reported in October 2010 that he joined two young Nkuhuma males on a buffalo kill.  He came right in and started eating at the head of the kill and when challenged by the two males he rolled over submissively and was allowed to feed for 3 days.

He had learned how to survive being a nomadic lion! Sadly he was fighting a battle he could not win. In his weakened state, it was fairly obvious that the Bovine TB was taking it's toll and was ravaging his body.


He was found dead on the Northern boundary of Londolozi on November 9th, 2010. Rest in peace brave boy....

There are so many people to thank for helping tell this story.  MalaMala Game Reserve, Londolozi Game Reserve, Idube Game Reserve, Djuma Game Reserve, Arathusa Safari Lodge, Elephant Plains Game Lodge, Nkorho Bush Lodge and all their Rangers and staff.   Without their input, this story could not have been told.

Londolozi wrote a special blog honoring this last Golf Course male.  It vividly shows his demise over the past few months. (Warning the photos may be upsetting)   Thank you Adam for the touching article. Lion Warfare: A Demise of a King


Some videos of the last Golf Course male. He won the hearts of many Worldwide... some who only knew him via the internet through live streaming cams located in South Africa's Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

In this first video, you can see a clip of the Golf Course Male in the Idube Game Reserve's Highlights for 25 - 31 December2009 (Sighting at 5 minutes 30 seconds in.)

Idube Game Reserve's Highlights for 25-31 January 2010 (Sighting clip at 50 seconds in.)

This video has some clips included of the last Golf Course male seen at Elephant Plains and Djuma Game Reserve.

This was a sighting at Elephant Plains on Oct. 11th, 2010:

And seen again the night of Oct 12th, 2010:

Please remember this story is not written in stone. There will be changes and additions as more information becomes available. It is our hope that others will come forth to help fill in the gaps and/or make corrections to the life story of the two Golf Course Males.

If you have videos or photographs of these two beautiful males that you would like to share, we would be thrilled to include them in their story.

Fan Page Golf Course Male Lions

November 2010

By Aquila and Karen


donnabac's picture

Many thanks to you two for

Many thanks to you two for piecing together the life of this beautiful and  incredibly determined lion. He touched so many in his life and death.


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