Split Rock Males
Split Rock Males
Information/background has been gathered from various sites (Mala Mala, Londolozi, Djuma, Savanna, Nkorho, Elephant Plains, Singita, Exeter, Arathusa, Ulusaba, Inyati, Wildwatch, Idube, Leopard Hills, Simbambili) and their sightings databases along with helpful Rangers and staff at the various lodges and reserves answering questions sent their way.
Split Rock Males aka Marthly Males, Robson Males (Older) at Elephant Plains, West/North Males, Males from the North, & Western Males. The two longest surviving males were also called “Nose” (growth on nose) and “Leg “ (swollen foot).
The Split Rock/Marthly Males started out as a coalition of four. It is believed they were born to the Othawa pride around 1994 per Londolozi. One male was larger and had a more developed mane than the other three. One male was last seen in Feb 2002 looking sickly and scarred. Oct 2003, sightings suggest that only two were still alive. The survivors were the heavy maned one and one of the slightly younger ones.
The two surviving Split Rock males dominated the Styx pride for several years and are said to have sired the 3 youngest Styx pride females born in 2003.
The younger of the two surviving males died on July 8th, 2006 from Bovine TB and an infection from an injury to a hind leg. This sad report was given by Mala Mala: “Then on the 8 th of July this lion was found just south of the causeway close to the Mala Mala Main Camp, lying out on a sandbank. At dusk he raised his head, and after a while tried to rise to his feet. He walked a few yards towards a nearby water hole, had a short drink, but simply did not have the strength to move away again. He collapsed on a rock at around 18:45 and his breathing slowed and eventually stopped.”
With the death of his brother, the oldest was left to carry on and try to protect their young cubs with the Styx pride. By the end of 2006, all their cubs had vanished most likely due to the Roller Coaster males. The Old Split Rock male was last seen with the Styx pride in May 2007.
Once the last Split Rock male was finally ousted by the Roller Coaster males in 2007, he wandered great distances to stay out of the way of the Roller Coaster males. It was reported in September/October 2007 by Mala Mala that he had formed a coalition with another old Kruger male. They joined up with the Charleston pride and the old Split Rock male looking as if his days were numbered was still seen mating with one of the Charleston females.
The two Split Rock males' legacy is carried on by their offspring. Not only did they sire the 3 youngest Styx Pride females, they also fathered the two younger Tsalala adult females and the surviving sub adult male of BB (tailless Tsalala pride lioness). Other cubs from various prides were also sired by the Split Rock males. It is unclear if the two Young Robson Males, known as Stompie and One Eye, were sired by the Older Robson Males/Split Rock Males/Marthly Males but we will update when/if this is confirmed.
It is believed that the last and oldest of the Split Rock Males is dead. The last recorded sighting we have found was at Elephant Plains, November 2007, when an Old lion was observed and it was thought to be the Split Rock male.
In tribute to this old male lion we would like to add this awesome video by Lyndon Firman.
By Aquila & Karen in VA