These are members of our Hippo/River Pride which have gone from strength to strength. They’ve expanded their territory to both sides of the Chiredzi River now, whereas previously they stayed on the western Hippo Valley side. Territory is everything to lions (just as it is to domestic house cats). They are constantly trying to defend and expand their territory. Males defend it from other males, and females from other females. If part of a territory becomes available because the holding pride weakens (due to illness, injury or death), then a
neighbouring pride wastes no time in extending their territory. A take-over can include a vicious fight in which deaths might occur, or it can be by more subtle means such as marking over scent, scratching trees, and roaring. It is often thought that the opportunity to mate is the most important drive for male lions, but it isn’t. The strongest driving behaviour for a lion is holding a territory.
Here is one of the adolescent cubs having a sip of water, and below shows the latest additions to the pride.