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Friday
Jun202014

Lion Karli's radio collar removal

We recently removed the radio collar from young male lion Karli, who has moved too far for us to monitor regularly.  

 

Karli initially lived in the area between the Main Kabatoro park gate, Katunguru park gate, and Mweya Peninsula.  
However, he has since crossed the Kazinga channel.  He most likely did this by swimming across it since the only other way is via a narrow, very heavily trafficked bridge next to a busy village.  Swimming across the channel is also very risky, since hippos and crocodiles inhabit it.  

 

He is now living in a steep, thorny, bushy area along the channel that is impossible to reach with our vehicle or safely on foot.  The only way to track his movements is via boat, and we don’t have regular access to one since it is so costly.  

 

Karli likely moved across the channel in order to avoid the dominant coalition of three males (Papa, Rudi & Omukama). Those three males frequently patrol the entire northern sector of the park.  One reason they do this is to push younger male lions out of the area so that they don’t mate with their females. Karli has no chance against them, unless he is able to form a coalition of his own with other young males and attempt a take-over!

 

Karli was in fairly good condition when we tranquilized him to remove the collar.  This means he’s adapted well to hunting in a closed, riverine thicket habitat (like a tiger would!).

 

We will redeploy the collar for use on an animal we are able to reach more easily.

 

We will also keep our eyes open for Karli, to see if he ever moves back across the channel!

 

James tracking lion Karli via boat along the Kazinga Channel.Location where we tracked lion Karli and tranquilized him to remove his radio collar.Lion Karli's new home range across the Kazinga Channel.

Some photos taken of Karli while he was tranquilized to remove the collar:

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