Lions for Meletse

The relocation operation of the Meletse lions required good planning and team work.

ROOIBERG – Four lions, two from Marakele National Park and two from Addo National Park, were recently relocated to the Meletse Game Reserve. Four of the Big Five species have so far been introduced to Meletse.

Meletse Game Reserve is situated close to the town of Rooiberg and is a 12 500 ha reserve of which 11 500 ha is free roaming Big Five.

Two lionesses of approximately two and a half years were relocated from Marakele on 14 March this year. Two males (Matt, 5 years, and Tsava, 9 years) were flown in from Addo National Park on the 18th of May. Matt and Tsava underwent a 4 hour flight from Addo to the Meletse airstrip and were transported with vehicles from there to the bomas.

The males were fitted with collars and the females underwent a procedure to implant abdominal transmitters to ensure that they can be tracked and monitored.

The males and females will remain in separate bomas for approximately two months after which they will be released as free roaming. The lions will aid in sustaining a natural functioning ecosystem. They will also serve as tourism attraction and, hopefully, as a deterrent to poachers.
Elephant are the last to be introduced to complete the Big Five. If all goes well, they should be arriving within the next 2 to 3 months.