In December 2019 we sent off a donation of £2587.83 ($3278) to sponsor a GPS collar and the associated transmission fees to receive the data, we also donated £329 ($428) towards the following years transmission fees in January 2021 which we will repeat throughout the lifespan of the collar. In June 2020 we were delighted to hear from the Kope Lion team that the collar had been fitted onto a five year old male named Laipangwa. He had previously been collared in 2018 and this collar was to replace it after the batteries were believed to be failing. Born in the Twin Hill pride in the Ndutu region, since 2018 he has been spending more time in the multi use area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, north west of the main crater. This is why his collar is so important as it allows the Kope Lion team to prepare for potential mitigations as he and his pride live in area alongside a lot of the local people. It is used as an early warning system for the herders within the area allowing them to prepare to move their herds when the lions are nearby or moving to a particular area.
This page aims to show the maps and the updates on his progress and whereabouts that we have received from our brilliant friends from Kope Lion. Laipangwa is pictured below with his Safina sponsored collar on.
These maps show Laipangwa's movements in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area on the North western slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater which can be easily noticed from these maps. We are so grateful to the Kope Lion Team who have regularly sent us these maps on a regular basis allowing us to see where Laipangwa has been and the distance that he has travelled on a monthly basis. Use the sliding tool to see each of the maps from June 2020 to January 2021.
These maps show Laipangwa's movements in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area for the entire year 2020-2021. Here you can see his initial journey into the area that he is now a seemingly permanent resident of which have been seen in separate months above. The high density of his movements around this one specific area shows that this is a territory which he has now considered himself particularly attached to. The reason behind this would be that he has sired cubs with a group of females which belong to this area.
Laipangwa & His Pride
Due to living in an area which has a high density of people and livestock the lions have become a lot more elusive than other lions in the wildlife only areas. This reluctance to come near people has been helpful for their success within the area. Although initially there were some incidents involving livestock the lions have been thriving with the help of the the lion custodians (Ilchokuti in the local Maa language) within the area employed by Kope Lion have been able to work with the local communities to help mitigate these conflicts and to keep people and livestock away from where the lions are.
Initially believed to have been in the company of four females, Laipangwa has now been seen with a total of five females with a total of nine cubs of various different ages in March 2021. He can normally be seen frequenting with two or three at most times. We are extremely grateful to Roimen Lelya, Lion Monitoring & Conflict Officer for the pictures of Laipangwa and his companions.
Rumas, pictured below, is one of the Ilchokuti based in the area that Laipangwa is currently in. Rumas and the other ilchhokuti look out for Laipangwa, the lionesses and other lion prides in the area to keep them out of trouble ensuring that everyone, lions, livestock and communities remain safe is a priority for Rumas.
Laipangwa and the lionesses he is with have become something of a success story for the Kope Lion team. Laipangwa being an Ndutu (an area closer to the main Serengeti National Park) born lion has succesfully sired cubs with a group of lionesses that have split from a pride in the main crater. This means that the corridor of tolerance that Kope Lion have been working to restore inbetween the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater is now starting to work and the genetic flow has now been opened up once more. It also a success because lions have now been resident in a range that has not been utilised by lions for years and people and livestock are now coexisting together once more.
Our latest update from July 2021 comes in the form of this photo of Laipangwa taken at night by Roimen the Lion Conflict and Monitoring Officer for Kope Lion. He has still been spending time with the five lionesses and the now larger cubs but on this occasion the females and cubs stayed out of sight. Roimen and his team of Ilchokuti work tirelessly in their work to keep the lions and communities safe. In this case a night spent sleeping in their vehicle allowed them a quick update on Laipangwa and his pride!
Thanks again to the Kope Lion team for all of these maps and pictures, we are honoured to be a part of your work.
Laipangwa Going Into 2022
We have continued to receive regular updates and pictures from the Kope Lion team. Our favourites so far are the pictures above taken in February by Roimen, giving a great view of Laipangwa and his collar. The photo on the right is a reminder that life in the wild is tough. Fortunately the rains have now arrived, bringing a high density of prey species to the plains. As you can see the picture below taken a few weeks later show him with a fuller belly so he has started to eat well again. Life in the wild is tough and for Laipangwa this is no exception, at 7 years old he is in his prime and has sired several cubs. The map on the right details his movements (in green) throughout 2021 along with some of the other collared lions monitored by the Kope Lion team, see the key for more details. Please keep checking for further updates and thank you to Emmanuel and Roimen for the brilliant photos, Ingela for the maps and Sally for her great regular communication.