Fat Cats
May 18 2018

On the morning of the 8th of May, the Ngamo pride was scattered in various spots along the “High Street’ area of the site.  This was the location of a scavenge opportunity that had been hidden the day before and the lions had clearly sought out the carcass some time during the early hours of the morning.  It wasn’t so easy at first to distinguish who was who, what with everybody face down and feeding, but as the tawny shapes began to emerge from the long grass, the research team was able to jot down their identities and record their positions. 

There was of course one lioness that was unmistakable, or so the team thought.  Lying on her back with a huge rounded belly and a spotty leg in the air, it had to be Kenge.  Of course it was.  After all, Kenge always lies like that and being the lioness with the largest appetite, she was bound to be the one with the biggest belly, right? 

Sleeping off the meal

Actually no.  As it turned out the fat cat lying before them was not Kenge, but in fact KE3 doing a very good impression of her mother.  Not too surprising really as, now one of the more dominant females of the pride, KE3 has no problem at all in the competition for food and is usually one of the last to leave a carcass, making sure every morsel of meat has been utilised, just like mum.  Add this trait to KE3’s inherent spottiness and it’s easy to see how the two lionesses can be confused for one another.

KE3: Just like mama

About the Ngamo Lion Release Site

The 6 adults (1 male and 5 females) of the ‘Ngamo Pride’ were captive born and released into the ‘Ngamo Lion Release Site’ in 2010, 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 5 offspring (1 male and 4 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.

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