Lost and Found
May 26 2016

The research team picked up the pride’s signal in the Puku Dambo area one cool morning recently.  The day before, management carried out a controlled burn in the site to prevent future wildfires, and the pride must have been interested in the change in scenery as they were found exploring.  However, the number seemed ‘off’, as the team counted again and again but each time ended up with only 11 lions. This was odd for just one pride member to be absent, and the team came to the conclusion that Loma was M.I.A.

The pride was very active for a mid-morning research session and cruised down one of the game trails to a water pan.  They settled after they quenched their thirst, but something quickly got their attention. Up-wind a bellowing roar came from the Bwizu area - it must have been Loma!  The pride all turned in that direction and stood up, vigilant for any other sound.  Kwandi was the first to investigate, followed by Rusha.  Moments later, the entire pride got up at once and marched their way toward the origin of the roar.  As the lions weaved in and out of the grass and trees, they soon came to the Northern Boundary in the Bwizu area where Loma’s roar had emanated.  The pride settled under some shade, as if waiting for another sign from their long-lost pride member.  

Looking for Loma

On the move to investigate the roar

It wasn’t long until they heard a roar once more; this time much closer.  Loma’s signal was getting stronger, implying that she was on her way towards them.  Again, Kwandi was the first to get up to look for her, with Rusha following once more.  Zulu, LE2, Kela, and Leya all joined, and then there she was.  Loma was bounding towards her pride members.  She greeted everyone, as she was so happy to be reunited with her family; even the sub-adults ran over to her wanting to play.  The pride then strolled over to a nice lush thicket and began their mid-morning nap, with Loma happily asleep amongst them.

Loma, back with the pride again

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.

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