A new year, an old challenge!
February 9 2017

The past few weeks have been a challenge for the research team, as consistent rain has left the Dambwa release site fully of muddy traps.  While the bush is lush and green, and the grass is now reaching new heights, underneath what appears to be sand is thick black mud determined to prevent the research vehicle reaching the pride’s location.  Oblivious to the research team’s difficulties, the Dambwa pride remain focused upon food and sleeping.

Earlier this week, the pride was found along the border of the Chobe/Bwizu areas of the release site, having just finished scavenging on a carcass.  While the sub-adults continued to forage for any remaining scraps, Loma, with a full belly, decided to position herself on the road to groom and watch the rest of the pride.  At one point, RS2 paused at the roadside sniffing a patch of sand where, not long before, a morsel of food had laid.  Throughout this sighting, Zulu, despite having clearly eaten well, was constantly searching for any remaining tasty pieces; with the sub-adults keeping a wide berth of him.

With a full belly, Loma positions herself on the roadside to groom

RS2 after sniffing something interesting on the roadside

Later, the pride was found sleeping off their meal within the Chobe area of the release site.  As another storm thundered in the near distance, the majority of the pride sought shelter in a nearby thicket, however Leya and Kela were determined to sit out in the open.  As heavy rain started to fall, the two lionesses remained still, showing the research team that rain is nothing to be worried about - apparently.    

Kela resting in the long grass after a morning scavenge

Leya won't let anything as insignificant as a storm bother her

About the Dambwa Lion Release Site

The 6 adults (1 male and 5 females) of the ‘Dambwa Pride’ were captive born and released into the ‘Dambwa Lion Release Site’ in 2011, having been walked in the rehabilitation phase of the ex situ conservation project, the African Rehabilitation and Release into the Wild Programme.  The pride’s 6 offspring (3 male and 3 females) were born in the site and have had no human contact, display natural behaviours, and are intended for release into the wild in the final phase of the Programme.

Support the African Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Programme

  • To make a donation or to fundraise on our behalf click here.
  • To meet the pride as a volunteer, intern or facilitated research student click here.

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