On the morning of 29th May the research team entered the site to find a lone AT1 wandering along the boundary in Kruger. Alternately sniffing the ground and looking into the distance, her behaviour led the team to believe that she had lost the rest of the pride. The team decided to leave her and they headed off along the boundary to see if they could locate the missing lions themselves. A check of some the pride’s more favoured spots failed to reveal anyone and the team soon found themselves in the same predicament as AT1. They decided to return to AT1 and keep an eye on her suspecting that if success was to be had in finding the lions it was most likely going to be AT1 and her scent following skills. By the time they all reached the Treetops area AT1 detoured from the boundary and disappeared out of sight into the bushes. Just moments later she re-emerged only to be followed by the rest of the pride! Taking a well-earned break from her detective work AT1 took to rest and she lay among her pride mates in the morning sun.
Now, you may say we are a little biased but if there is any male in Ngamo worth falling for then it has to be the good-looking, magnificently maned lion named Milo. And it seems dominant female Phyre would also agree with us. On the 2nd June, as the lions were resting in Masai Mara, Milo rose from his slumber in the shade and approached the rest of the pride. Phyre spotted Milo heading her way and she quickly rose to greet him. She greeted him with so much enthusiasm that he was unable to bear her weight and she toppled over and flopped to the ground, landing at his paws. Milo simply moved away to rest elsewhere leaving Phyre looking a little less graceful than usual, and the research team greatly amused.
The next day just seven members of the pride were resting together in Amboseli. Once the team had made a note of the relevant data they moved off in search of Milo, AT1, AS4 and AS5. A drive of the boundary failed to show any sign of the missing pride members and so the team took to Route 66 to continue their search. By the time they reached Etosha there was still no sign of the lions however they did notice something rather interesting. There was a female impala absent from the herd. Four missing lions and one missing impala made the research team highly suspicious of a kill having taken place and, having a feeling where they might be, they headed to waterhole 2. Sure enough, as they arrived at the waterhole, AT1 was spotted sniffing about the area, and from the long grass beside the pan came the unmistakable sound of crunching bone as AS4 and AS5 finished off what little remained of the impala carcass.
Who was responsible for the kill is uncertain but as the team managed to get a closer look at the lions a little later Kwali, Kenge and Phyre all looked to have played a part, their faces and chests faintly stained with blood. Perhaps AT1, AS4 and AS5 had arrived just a little too late to gain anything more than leftovers.