The 30th was a sad day on the reserve. Management made a decision to put down one of the collared lions. Della was one of the oldest lions but she was also clearly suffering and not feeding well.
Onw of the GVI staff is a trained vet and performed the autopsy, which we were allowed to watch. Tissue samples were taken for further analysis but we did find a porcupine quill in Della’s throat, a large abcess on one of her canines and fluid in her left hip joint. This last find probably affected her more as she couldn’t successfully hunt meaty prey.
We also discovered that the fences are already coming down – only on a small part of the reserve, with a neighbouring farm but it does mean that the remaining lions have further to roam. The new male lion and Guizeppe and her cubs are already utilising this new area.
Tomorrow the other group go to the mountains for four days and then there’s not long to go till the end of the expedition. It has flown by!