With October being one of the hottest months of the year, it’s no surprise that for the last couple of weeks the majority of the Ngamo research team’s observations have been of very sleepy cats; following the shade as it moves around the trees, much like the hands of a sundial. Being an animal that can’t sweat, there are still a couple of ways for a lion to try and cool down and, aside from panting and limiting activity through the hottest part of the day, one of them is lying flat out on their backs. It might not be the most majestic pose the king of beasts can assume but, as the lighter coloured fur and thinner skin on their bellies allows them to regulate their body temperature, needs must.
Cooling off lion-style
On the afternoon of the 26th, the pride was feeding in the Masai Mara area of the site. The females had taken their positions quickly before the males arrived to dominate the meat. While some fed together in a group, Nala had seized a chunk of meat and had darted off towards a bush to dine away from prying eyes. The team hoped that AS5 wouldn’t spot her but, unfortunately, there’s not much that gets past him where food is concerned and so, despite the team’s wishful thinking, Nala had to try to flee with her food clenched between her jaws. Eventually she had to concede, as she couldn’t keep up her pace with such a cumbersome load. AS5 swiftly carried the meat away to conceal it in a shrub and a few minutes later re-emerged to do the very same thing to KE3!
The 31st was Kenge and Kwali’s birthday and the two sisters spent their day resting in Amboseli with the rest of the pride. As the sun began to set, Kwali was treated to a little bit of birthday bonding courtesy of her niece KE3. Meanwhile, Kenge made the most of the cooler air with Nala as the two females lay sprawled out with their paws in the air. Such copycats!
Kenge, Kwali and KE4
Kwali and KE3
Kenge and Nala
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.
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.