Mukambi River Pride – one of the most iconic prides of lions in Zambia’s vast Kafue National Park was first collared by LRF-grantee Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) in 2016. It is one of the most successful prides in the central Kafue region.
But in July 2020, the pride suffered a tragic blow when a collared female was killed by poachers. Though her tracking collar alerted researchers to her location, rescue forces could not reach her in time. Upon arrival, she was already dead, the heartbreaking result of a deadly wire snare. As scouts from the Zambia Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) chased the poachers responsible, researchers attempted to re-locate the remaining members of the pride, but it was too late. They had disappeared.
In the late evening of November 5th, 2020, an LRF-funded “Lion Monitoring Team” found three lions from the pride peacefully sleeping on a quiet, worn-out road in a remote section of central Kafue. These teams are a collaborative lion conservation initiative between DNPW, the Lion Recovery Fund, Panthera, and ZCP. These teams work to help monitor lion prides, keep them safe from #snares, look for new prides, and provide a presence to deter #poaching in remote areas of the park. And their hard work paid off…
Through this successful collaboration, the Mukambi River Pride now traverses central Kafue with a new satellite tracking collar. This tracking collar will help inform targeted and intensive patrols by DNPW to ensure that this iconic and important pride remains safe for generations to come.