Lioness Spy Cam
The precious moments when a lioness gives birth to her first set of cubs will be watched live by wildlife experts at South Africa's leading golf and safari development thanks to a revolutionary spy-cam.
The surveillance camera fitted into the roof of the big cat's birthing den means it will be possible to observe the wild animal's first few hours as a Mum.
Precious the lioness is 27-months-old and resident on one of the innovative “lion islands” at Legend Wildlife and Cultural Centre, an offshoot of the award-winning Legend Golf & Safari Resort in the Limpopo Province.
The female, first-time Mum is due to give birth any day now. And Centre manager Arrie Van Deventer is delighted that he will be there to support Precious throughout the big event.
“Nobody ever gets to see a lioness give birth because no-one yet has had the courage to crawl up to a lioness with her newborn young!” he said.
“But having the camera means we can learn even more about the birthing process and particularly how a lioness raises her cubs in those first, crucial days. It also gives us the opportunity to ensure that nothing goes wrong because unfortunately there can be complications and it's not uncommon for a lioness to abandon her first set of cubs and simply walk away.
“What we want to see is Precious deliver the cubs safely and raise them as her own, but if there are difficulties it means we can intervene and maybe literally save their lives.”
The solar-powered camera was donated by Riso Africa following their recent visit to the resort. Product manager Marvin Minnaar said the Japanese company were so impressed with the conservation work being carried out that they were keen to get involved.
He said: “It's really exciting for us to support the work being carried out here at the Wildlife & Cultural Centre and sponsor the camera.
“This is the first time we've been involved in such a project and we're looking forward to seeing the results.”
Footage from the camera can be watched live via a laptop computer.
The birthing room which houses the camera was designed by Mr Van Deventer to allow Precious to mimic the birthing process in the wild.
“Normally the lioness will leave the pride and travel kilometres away to give birth to her cubs,” he said. “She only returns six to eight weeks later to introduce them to the rest of the pride.
“If Precious had the cubs on the island they would be killed by the other males. This way we are giving them every fighting chance to survive.”
Legend Wildlife and Cultural Centre is open to day visitors as well as residents at Legend Golf & Safari Resort. For more details contact reservations on 0117 296 700 or firstname.lastname@example.org