The team at Kuzuko Lodge confirmed on 10 September 2018 that Sylvester the lion and his lioness mate Angel, are officially the parents of two lion cubs, when the two little cubs started moving around together. According to De Lange, General Manager at Kuzuko Lodge the cubs are approximately 12 weeks old and in good health.
South Africa’s most famous lion, known as Sylvester, was born in Karoo National Park in 2012. He shot to fame in June 2015 when he escaped from the Park for the first time. During Sylvester’s three-week walkabout in the Karoo he covered over 370 kilometres, crossing a number of private properties – killing 28 sheep, a Nguni cow and a kudu along the way.
After the escape, Sylvester was fitted with a satellite collar which also has a VHF component to find his location should he manage to get out again.
This collar alerted authorities on 28th March 2016 that the lion had once again left the park’s boundary, and played a big role in tracking him and returning him back to the park much quicker – three days later on 31st March.
Sylvester was translocated to Addo Elephant National Park in May 2016, and into the Kuzuko Contractual Area of the Park, where he has settled and established himself as the dominant male – in what conservationist’s hope will become a pride of four lions in the area.
From the moment he arrived Gerhard De Lange, bonded him into a coalition with another young male from Addo, Fielies – it fitted Sylvester like a glove. The new coalition was introduced to two young females and eventually opened up out of the original holding boma on 11 November 2016 with the females into a 300ha camp. On 21 January 2017 the four animals were released onto the 15 000ha Kuzuko Reserve.
“All is well with Sylvester and he was seen mating one of the lionesses, called Angel a couple of weeks ago. He has settled, and is part of a dominant coalition and never once gave me any indication that there is any part of the old Sylvester left – it is an amazing experience to see this animal on a daily basis,” Gerhard said earlier in June 2018.
“We have two lionesses in the reserve with whom the two male lions have established a close bond,” Although both lionesses were on contraception we started to suspect that Sylvester’s lioness, Angel, had given birth between 15 – 20 June of this year,” Gerhard de Lange stated.”
“Angel showed all the signs of having cubs suckling her, but as lionesses keep their babies ‘hidden’ for quite a period while they are very young – we hadn’t been able to spot them.”
“I can confirm that Sylvester himself has paid the mother of his cubs a few visits since they were born, so we are sure that Sylvester and his coalition partner will provide them with the protection they need. We can also confirm that the two little cubs have adopted their father’s good looks and are fit and healthy,” said De Lange.
Their mother Angel, is another Kuzuko success story as she herself was rescued at five months old with her sister as an orphan and instead of being tamed or raised in captivity, De Lange and his reserve team raised them to be 100% wild.