I hope this finds you well. That time has come again for an update on the boys. It feels like yesterday that the two of them landed in South Africa, how the time flies. I was looking at pictures of their arrival recently, and am constantly amazed at how quickly they are growing and changing. George is finally starting to get that characteristic long hair down his neck that will one day be a beautiful mane.
The boys have been spending most of their days down at the sanctuary with the adult lions, and have met four sets of neighbours so far (as well as a pair of wild spotted hyena's at their enclosure). While George remains slightly nervous of the bigger cats, Yame has taken on the challenge and actively marks his territory right in front of some of the bigger males. As Im sure you can imagine, this does not impress the adult males at all. The females, however, are very curious of them and spend the day watching them closely.
We are still taking them on frequent walks on the reserve. It is clear how much more George enjoys it now that he can see. He is a lot more playful with his brother and with us. He is stalking anything and everything that moves, and often gets within striking distance of the ground birds before they realise that he is attempting to catch them. Yame on the other hand, likes to pretend he's alone on the walks by running far ahead, but every now and then he comes back to me for a head rub, and some reassurance. They have already begun to associate our transport cage with going for walks, and they get quite excited when they see it coming... not that they are always easy to get in... but they will get there.
Their new enclosure is coming along nicely, and they will hopefully move in within the next week or two. Then they will have a lot of space to get up to mischief, and continue honing those natural hunting/stalking skills. George and Yame have already shown their natural instinct for some of these behaviours. Not too long ago we gave them a whole warthog carcass, and right away he got it in a strangle hold around the neck, while Yame held it by covering the mouth and nostrils. Such clever boys!
I have attached some more pictures taken by one of our volunteers. I hope that you will enjoy them. Its hard to believe that they will be turning one next month!