Lions of Gorongosa

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The lions of Gorongosa Park suffered one of the biggest losses of any large mammal during Mozambique’s civil conflict, from over 200 in 1977 to single digits at the end of the fighting. Since the restoration project began, lions have begun their steady recovery, and over the past two years, researcher Paola Bouley and her team — the Gorongosa Lion Project — have already identified over 65 lions in just 20 percent of the park. Together with park vet Rui Branco, the team has deployed satellite tracking collars in many of the prides starting in 2013 with the first male "M02," who was then ruling the Sungue Pride.

Thanks to the data from these collars, the Gorongosa Lion Project is able to track the movements of lions throughout the park, leading them to discover new individuals, but also to help protect the lions from poachers’ snares. The satellite data gives daily updates and insights into the behavior and dynamics of the Gorongosa lions. Territorial disputes between competing males like M02, Nginga and Cheza and family dramas and hunting patterns of females like Flavia and Tripod are now in full view even when the lions themselves are hiding in the lush, thick vegetation of the park.

Meet the Lions

Hear a Lion's Roar

Play this audio file to listen to Nginga's roar.

M02

M02

The first lion collared in the park who led the team to new lions in the area.

Xivulo & Tripod

Xivulo & Tripod

M02's father, the second lion collared in Gorongosa, and mother, a three-legged lioness.

Flavia & Helena

Flavia & Helena

Two sisters from the Sungue Lion Pride and mothers to M02's cubs.

Mkombozi

Mkombozi

M02's daughter and the smallest of five cubs born to the Sungue Lion Pride in 2012.

Nginga

Nginga

The current ruler of the Sungue Lion Pride.

Cheza 1 & 2

Cheza 1 & 2

Two males that have had run-ins with Nginga, the leader of the Sungue Lion Pride.

The Brando Brothers

The Brando Brothers

The Brando Brothers are gorgeous, dark-mane lions who fiercely patrol their territory.

Explore More

Episode 1 | Lion Mystery

Episode 1 | Lion Mystery

Why is Gorongosa’s lion population not growing as fast as it should?

Elephants of Gorongosa

Elephants of Gorongosa

Meet the elephants of the Mabenzi Family in Gorongosa National Park.

| Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise
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Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise

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