It was an early morning on the 25th of April when the research team entered the site. Radio telemetry signal was strong in the Kariba area, implying the pride was nearby. However, the researchers became puzzled when driving through the sea of grass that they didn’t find any lions. Circling the area over and over, sub-adult RS3 was finally spotted. As she moved into the shade, RS2 appeared; watching. In the bushes nearby guinea fowl could be heard cackling, whilst the grass was being violently trashed. The assumption was that RS1 must be in there somewhere, tormenting the birds.
RS3 and RS2 went over to see what their sister was up to and soon vanished in the grass. Things quietened in the grass, and all three siblings re-emerged as if nothing was going on. After taking a long look at the research vehicle, the threesome settled in a shady spot.
The research team attempted to locate the rest of the pride, but to no avail.
After breakfast, the team returned to the release site, determined to locate the rest of the pride. After much more criss-crossing across the area, it was decided to drive straight into the longest grass. There - sure enough - resting peacefully in the shade were the remainder of the Dambwa Pride. Soon the RS cubs joined them for a mid-morning nap, but it wasn’t long before RS1 was off again to explore her surroundings. She managed to find yet another guinea fowl which she duly chased up a tree. RS2 and RS1 joined her to stare up at the scolding bird, collectively willing it to come down - but there was slim chance of that happening!
The RS Sub-adults
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.