Mkomazi Newsletter 1999: Jipe
Jipe, the lioness, made her first kill when she was less than a year old. She stalked and brought down an impala. Impressive (to a human) for an animal that has been raised by humans since 3 weeks of age. Her keepers are Zacharia and Ombeni, although she is quite happy to spend time with a select few, including Elisaria. We are still pursuing the possibility of bringing down another lioness from Nairobi Animal Orphanage to integrate with her. The Born Free Foundation and Sarah Macoun have helped with funds towards this programme of rehabilitating her to the wild.
Tony fitted a telemetry transmitter collar on her and on October 9th, Zacharia and Tony walked her into the rhino sanctuary and into her new compound. This compound had been sited and built over the past year, as part of the process of her eventual rehabilitation back to the wild. She settled down immediately and within days was able to stay out all day.
Zacharia and Ombeni stay fairly close, always in telemetry range and always on the radio, but generally allow her to follow her own mind. In early November, she stayed out all night for the first time. Zacharia went to look for her at 6.00 am the next day and found her with a full stomach, having just hunted. This is another step forward in her slow return to freedom. The technique used is that which George Adamson and Tony used in Kora for over 18 years, with some improvements, but it is a long, cautious and considered approach with the emphasis on care.
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