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Amelia’s new cubs

The lioness, Amelia, has just given birth. Now that the rainy season is beginning, we had to dig and winch ourselves out of a good share of mud on our journey to find her. We finally found her under this palm tree with her newborn cubs. We could only briefly hear the cubs today but we hope to report back soon on these exciting new additions to the Gorongosa family.

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Tracking Elusive Lions

This is the quintessential face of Gorongosa lions…highly elusive, wild animals that are very difficult to locate. The GPS collars we deploy go far beyond just being a research tool… they are our “conservation anchors,” and they help us save lives. Tracking groups weekly, keeping them out of snares and hands of poachers, deploying our rapid-response vet unit effectively, and of course keeping track of precious young cubs. Trail camera photos also help us capture candid photos of lions in their habitats. You can learn more about how we use these tools by watching this video.

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My Driver’s License

I am proud to say that I just passed my driver’s test! Getting a driver’s license is something that not many Mozambicans have an opportunity to do. I feel very fortunate that the Gorongosa science team has supported me in taking driving lessons and passing the test! This is not just a great personal achievement for me, but it is also so important for the work that I do. Paola Bouley usually drives all of us on her team to do field work, but now that the team is growing and the area to cover is so large, we can divide and conquer! With this new skill, I look forward to helping lead the Gorongosa Lion Project researchers for years to come.

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Another lion caught in a snare

Wire snares are traps that poachers set to catch antelopes for food, but snares don’t discriminate between an antelope and a lion. Sometimes lions are the unfortunate victims of snares. Our rangers and vet team are called out to save these lions all too often and today was no exception. Our vet, Rui Branco, organized an operation to tranquilize a coalition of two male lions, one of whom had a snare around its leg. Rui gathered his team, helicopter pilot Mike Pingo, colleague Louis Van Wyk, and our own Paola Bouley to fly out to a remote area in a Jet Ranger helicopter. Rui successfully darted both males, put GPS collars on them and removed the snare from this adult maneless lion we’ve named “Jatu”. This is another life saved, and a new group of lions to keep under our watchful eye.

Rui Branco darts the lions from the helicopter.

Rui Branco darts the lions from the helicopter.

Rui Branco removes a snare from Jaku.

Rui Branco removes a snare from Jatu.

Louis, Mike, and Paola with the new male that we'll be tracking.

Louis, Mike, and Paola with the new male that we’ll be tracking.

Tracking Amelia, the pregnant lioness

Tonga Torcida (L) and Chintsomba (R) – our lion guardians – work tirelessly each day to monitor and keep Gorongosa’s lions out of snares. This lioness is Amelia, she was just collared this week and is pregnant. We will use the collar to keep an eye on her and soon her new cubs. We soon hope to welcome her new cubs in to the world!

Tonga Torcida (lion intern) and Chintsomba (scout) help collar Amelia, a pregnant lioness.

Tonga Torcida (lion intern) and Chintsomba (scout) help collar Amelia, a pregnant lioness.

A Little Help from our Friends

How we accomplish all that we do in any given day in Gorongosa… by working together. This morning Gorongosa Guides – Simba and Montinho – helped us check in on 2 groups of lions (while also sharing those sightings with guests to the Park). Thank you, Gorongosa Guides!

Montinho (Gorongosa Guides) and Michel (Projecto Leões Intern) just returning from checking in on Nginga the lion

Montinho (Gorongosa Guides) and Michel (Projecto Leões Intern) just returning from checking in on Nginga the lion

A Wild Welcome from Gorongosa National Park, Central Mozambique

WildCam Gorongosa started as a fledgling idea in 2012, to deploy cameras out in a remote, mostly unexplored wilderness — Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique. Over those exciting beginning months we began documenting the life (especially the night-life) that was racing back from the brink after a devastating civil-war.  It’s here that one of Africa’s greatest wildlife restoration projects is unfolding offering us important insights in to the science of recovery and a vision of restoration for protected areas across the globe.

Since we launched our field-cameras in late 2012 we have never tired of pouring through the countless photos – in fact we can hardly wait to get back to camp and discover what wonders old and new we captured on “film.”  Will you be the one to discover new lion prides, the first leopard in the Park, or some unusual new behavior?  As you leap in to explore Wild Cam Gorongosa you too will get hooked on that thrill of discovery.

I am looking through trail camera photos in camp at Gorongosa.

We often look through trail camera photos when we return to camp to see what discoveries they reveal.

As we have steadily increased the numbers of cameras we have out in this breathtaking national park, we are now generating hundreds-of-thousands of photographs each year and we need your help!  Wild Cam Gorongosa for the first-time ever makes all this data available to you – no matter where in the world you might be, you will now be part of this adventure in Central Mozambique.

On behalf of our entire field team out here in Mozambique and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute – welcome!  We hope your journey through Gorongosa becomes one of discovery and hope in restoration, as it has for our team.

Paola, Rui, Celina, Isaquel, Tonga, and Fernandinho.  And, Mike Pingo (our intrepid helicopter pilot).

Celina, myself, and Domingas

(L to R) Celina, Paola, and Domingas

(L to R) Domingas, Maria, Celina, Isaquel

(L to R) Domingas, Maria, Celina, and Isaquel