Early Morning Pursuit
July 28 2014

It was the 25th of July and the research team had a mind set to count impala in the site.  Approaching the gate to enter the release site movement was seen approximately 100m away.  It was Nala, who seemed focused on something some 20 metres in front of her.  The research team then noticed the rest of the pride coming through the shrubs and trees like smoke. They were clearly hunting.

KE3

KE3

After a few minutes, four female impala emerged from a nearby thicket; unaware of the oncoming predators.  Nala flattened herself against the ground, still as a log and not blinking.  The research team waited silently, mesmerized by the strategy taking place. Suddenly, KE3 started running, possibly a little too eager.  The second the impala saw the young lion coming towards them they made a run for it.  Nala jumped up as quick as lightening in no time was on the tail of the impala.  It looked like she was going to be successful.  Nala was just a metre away from the dainty prey when her stamina failed her - lions can only keep at their full speed for a very short distance due to relatively small hearts compared with their body size. 

The research team sighed in frustration for the lions because it was SO close, and also because we didn’t catch the chase on camera!  Nala, Kwali, AS4, KE3, and AS5 watched their potential meal run off for a few minutes before regrouping with the rest of the pride and heading towards the Amboseli area.  Here they took a break and basked in the sun to regain their energy for another chase in the near future.  

Above AS5, below AS4

AS5

AS4

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