Whenever I think of words to describe the iconic one-eyed male lion of Kapama, Moria Madoda, words like majestic, powerful, dignified and dominant come to mind.
In his prime, he roamed Kapama with all the authority and prestige of a king. He controlled the south and north of the reserve. That was until three brothers formed a coalition. The power of the three combined was too much for the lone king.
In September 2016, in a legendary battle against the trio, two of which were his sons, he was overpowered and Moria tragically lost his right eye in the fight. Realising he was no longer the dominant male he moved towards the southwestern end of the reserve.
The loss of his right eye never dampened his spirits. He teamed up with two lionesses who recognised he still commanded respect and so together these three formed a powerful team. They were a force to be reckoned with and by banding together were able to take down large antelope and buffalo bulls to survive.
However, as is the circle of life, age caught up to our king. This past weekend our beloved and majestic Moria Madoda found the perfect, tranquil spot on the Reserve he knew all too well. As the African sun set over Kapama, it set over our king for the last time as well as he took his final breath.
The Kapama Reserve feels a little empty now knowing he is no longer with us. For 15 years this beautiful lion graced our plains creating unforgettable memories for our guests all around the world.
Every time a sighting of him was posted, guests would share their own stories of their encounters with him. He not only meant a lot to the Kapama team but to all our guests as well.
Moria Madoda, you will not be forgotten. Your powerful roar will continue to echo through the Reserve and you will always be remembered as the iconic one-eyed King of Kapama.
Rest in Peace.
Story by Liezel Holmes – Safari Manager