He sounded like a Harley Davidson motorcycle starting up. A low, menacing rumble that chills the blood in your veins.
Rakele did not like the boma. Too many human smells; too many fences. Too little space.
Rakele had to be in the boma. A slow introduction to his new home on Kaingo would only do him well. The drugs in his system could compromise his reactions; and there is always the possibility of an encounter with Simba that may leave a few scars, or worse.
A strapping young lion, his genealogy attracted us to add him to Kaingo’s lion population. Rakele was born and raised on the Marakele National Park and is the first of three new introductions in furtherance of Kaingo’ lion numbers and gene pool.
Right from his introduction to the boma, he showed a little pluck. He would growl, make a few warning charges at the fence. Almost as if the say: “Stay away; I have had a rough day, I don’t know where I am, and you smell dreadful”.
On the morning of Rakele’s release from the boma, all of our office staff went to have a look first. Safely seated on the game viewing vehicle, the lion all but ignored the humans!
We decided that it would be wise to have only one vehicle present for the actual release. Stress, especially on a big cat, may very quickly culminate into a less than ideal situation. This we learnt from Simba’s release a few months ago.
And so, we got him some food, gently opened the sliding gate, and waited.
Rakele found the fence, walked up and down this familiar barrier a few times, and then…
The rest of the afternoon he spent eating his final human supplied meal. From now on, he will have to rely on himself to get a bite to eat…or rely on the females…if Simba would allow.
Rakele is another cog in the machine that make up the functioning ecological system. And with our motto being ‘proudly conservationist’, Rakele will add massive value to Kaingo.
We wish him well!
Ga go a bonwa dipe tse di tshwanang gotlhelele Rakele! (Good hunting, Rakele)