Fooled You!
April 15 2016

As the sun rose over the Ngamo release site on the 31st March, the lions were blissfully soaking up the warming rays in the area known as ‘Amboseli’.  It was perfect lion weather with plenty of shade for the pride to dot in and out of, as they swayed between feeling too cold and too warm. 

The team had arrived to find just eight members of the pride; Milo and two of his offspring, AS4 and AS5, were presumably taking some time out together elsewhere in the site.  Phyre was being her usual social self, and in the midst of a grooming session with KE3.  It wasn’t long before her allogrooming switched to something a little more energetic.  Selecting Kenge as her mark, she pounced as her back was turned.  To the delight of the research team, Kenge graciously received Phyre’s gesture and the two mature females frolicked near the roadside, proving that you can never be too old to enjoy a spot of play. 

The following day, 1st April, the team were aptly made to feel quite foolish by the pride.  The lions had spent the majority of their day in the Masai Mara area of the site and so, when the team headed in to perform the last research session of the day, they were pretty sure they knew where the pride would be.  But that was not quite the case.  The team arrived at the gate in the ‘Camp’ area, the entrance they had been using that day, only to find 11 lions resting nearby; the pride had moved and so the team had to about-turn and make their entrance safely from an alternative gate. 

By the time the team eventually entered the site and reached ‘Camp’, the lions had completely vanished!  With the pride giving the team the run-around they began their search, and, with the help of volunteers keeping their eyes peeled for any sign of the big cats, they made their way to some of their more favoured resting spots.  At waterhole two they were finally in luck as they encountered the pride feeding on a wildebeest carcass.  Milo was ferociously trying to claim the carcass for himself and had already managed to displace Nala, Kwali, KE3 and even AS5!  As the pride male became increasingly determined to lay claim to the meat, the remaining females fled the feeding frenzy leaving just Phyre and the often timid KE4 managing to feed.  Not one to be put off by Milo’s aggressiveness for very long, AS4 cleverly snuck her way back in to feed, somehow avoiding a scolding from her father. 

Instead of just taking rest and waiting for the opportunity to regain access, the females that were displaced by Milo immediately began to scan the surrounding area, perhaps looking for any sign of other members of a wildebeest herd.   After a well-earned feed, and doing the research team proud, KE4 eventually moved off and it wasn’t long before Phyre did the same, leaving Milo with the carcass to himself.  Finally getting his own way, he began to drag the cumbersome remains around the back of the waterhole where he remained in unquestionable contentment for the next two days!

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