It seems like we were not the only ones who enjoyed a bountiful Easter holiday! On Easter Monday, the pride was found in a food coma under one of their favourite trees in the Sibaka region of the reserve. Extremely satisfied, the pride ignored the team who chuckled at their mountainous bellies; especially Kwandi and Zulu’s. Having stuffed themselves to just before the point of exploding, it appeared that no movement other than to shift resting positions, usually accompanied by a big groan, was going to happen. Happy to see the pride so content, the research team left them to do what lions do best… sleep!
A cold snap this past week has resulted in the research team finding the pride up to mischief during the morning research sessions. Some of the adult females decided to join in the fun, with Leya participating in chase and wrestle play with her daughter LE2. A lot of this occurred in the long grass, resulting in the research team hearing the play and seeing the occasional tip of a tail or head pop up above the grass. Sisters Kela and Kwandi were also seen chasing each other, but this quickly turned into an allogrooming session (social grooming between members of the same species) as the females quickly ran out of energy. However, one must be very careful when playing near Zulu! It appeared that Zulu was not in a playful mood this week. At one point, the sub-adults had all flopped down next to each other after a big play session. Suddenly, Zulu stood up and started walking with purpose towards the sub-adults, however the look on his face did not say he wanted to play! The sub-adults quickly recognised Zulu’s body language and retreated into the long grass. This did not deter Zulu as he proceeded to chase. After asserting his dominance, he returned to the watching adult females, roaring loudly. There is no doubt, Zulu is definitely the king!
Zulu poised to give chase
On the move
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.