Saturday, August 10, 2013

King of the Jungle : Ntwadumela (n-twy-du-may-la)

When I was young and had just started watching the Discovery channel (back then there was no NGC or the Animal Planet) , the one thing that I hated was the very rare and almost nil availability of footage of my favorite animal - The Tiger. Try as i might I could never see it on TV. All I got to see was the Lion time and again on TV, and after seeing the sorry sad specimens in the local zoo, I had no admiration for the Lion. The primary school lunch break arguments of Lion Vs Tiger, Wolf Vs Tiger etc were fiercely fought over, and I never fought for the Lion. I always wondered why the hell was it called King of the jungle when the Tiger was so beautiful and graceful.

But all of this changed one day....the day I saw Ntwadumela (n-twy-du-may-la), He who greets with fire...

That 1 hr tv program (Lions and Hyena - Eternal Enemies) changed my whole idea of Lions, and made me a big fan...

A fairly simple search brought me to a small clipping of Ntwadumela. I know I saw it on a old TV long ago when HD was not heard of. But when I walk back in memory, I feel as if I saw Ntwadumela on a 72 inch screen in full HD.

See the below youtube clip and imagine seeing it on a 72 inch screen in HD with surround sound. And then ask yourself who is the King of the Jungle ?

I still get goose bumps when I view this superb combination of great footage, good background voice and music , slow motion effect,  and one great King of the Jungle -  Ntwadumela !

Alas all good things come to an end. The google search for this clip also brought me to an article that told that Ntwadumela was no more...

"Mandevu and Ntchwaidumela, like most ousted lions in Savuti, wandered northward from one territory to next, through a network of territories that eventually requires these older lions to cross a government-sanctioned hunting ground.

Trophy hunters killed both of the long-reigning lions, from the safety of vehicles
, as they moved from one protected preserve to another in 1991."

"I know that wherever Ntchwaidumela’s skin hangs, on a wall somewhere in the U.S.A., perhaps, the new owners have no idea of the life that this lion lived. The daily heroics, the matings, the battles with elephants and buffalo, and, of course, his almost nightly vendettas against hyenas can never be seen on his fading skin." - Dereck Joubert, ‘Hunting with the Moon: The Lions of Savuti’

So the next time you see a old thin Lion in a zoo or circus (if they still have them), remember that he too is a brother of the majestic Ntwadumela - He who greets with Fire...He is the Hyena killer  

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