He is bound for stardom.
Last week I was writing that people are drawn to stories and personalities and sometimes, those wildlife personalities take on a following all their own. So if I want to tell a story about wildlife, make you want to follow that species, then why not let you identify with an individual that you could have an emotional attachment to and in turn care more about and want to act on it’s behalf?
This week, it has to be the lion Fabio in the Niassa National Reserve in northern Mozambique. This ~18 month old male seems to be turning up everywhere over the past few weeks with his family: Mom Flavia, Aunt Fatima and younger cousin Fantine in tow.
I first met Fabio on my visit to the Niassa Lion Project in very early June as we followed his collar signal through the tall grass. He looked up at us, curious as to why the Land Rover had 5 odd humans in it and then went about his business. A few days later we met him once again but this time with his family and our first sighting of Fatima’s new cub Fantine (pronuounced Fon-teen) as well as an unidentified female.
Fabio is not the leader of the pride, there is a territorial male in the area that this group is related to, but he does seem to be around every corner of this part of the Reserve whether it is wandering across a dry riverbed or more recently literally showing up outside the Niassa Lion Project camp.
It is good to have him be such a visual part of the project and even better to hear that Fabio and his family are moving around the reserve doing what lions do. If you would like to learn how you can help the Niassa Lion Project you can link to https://www.houstonzoo.org/niassa-lions/ or www.niassalion.org or look for their Facebook Page. These animals make people care. Wildlife outside our doors do not have a chance if we do not care. It is just that simple.
We will continue updating you on Fabio as news and photos arrive. Just remember, now that you know Fabio, we need you to care about him and all the people and wildlife of Niassa National Reserve.