The Circle of Life
December 15 2014

The beginning of December has also brought the beginnings of new life in Ngamo with the 1st offering sightings of new-born impala wobbling unsteadily behind their mothers; and a pair of spotted thick-knee (ground nesting birds) tottering along the boundary with their chicks.  The pride was located in the morning resting in Amboseli with little going on other than KE3 entertaining herself with a spot of play and chasing guineafowl.  By midday the lions were somewhat scattered about with Milo and AS4 taking time away from the pride.  As Milo lay flat out in Amboseli, AS4 was doing much the same by herself in the Camp area of the site.  The short bout of independence didn’t last very long for AS4 however and she was soon up on her paws and calling, trying to find the rest of her pride mates who were all to be found a good distance away in TreeTops.

Milo

The following day the research team saw less of the lions than usual but it wasn’t because they were difficult to find.  The pride was located in the morning strolling through Masai Mara, before coming to a stop in Serengeti West.  One by one they all took to the shade of a large thicket where they remained for the majority of the day, making identification difficult for the research team as they tried to distinguish who was who among the tawny pile up. 

The 3rd of December was a hot day and the pride sensibly spent their day in the shade conserving their energy.  By early evening KE3 began to move off, closely followed by Kwali, Ashanti and AS4.  Kenge also decided to follow them, but perhaps a little late, as she returned to the area calling and sniffing the ground in search of them. On seeing Kenge’s unsettled behaviour Nala rose from her rest and she too began to wander away.  One by one the remaining pride members followed her towards waterhole 1 where they paused to quench their thirst.  It was just moments later that KE3, Kwali, Ashanti and AS4 came into sight making their way along Route 66 and, after a short spell of welcoming greetings, they all took rest together once again in Camp as the sun began to set.

Nala leads Phyre, AT1, KE4, and AS5

Nala leads Phyre, AT1, KE4, and AS5

The next day the lions were located in the Masai Mara area of the site.  As the research team were making their initial notes upon the lions something caught their eye.  The fur on Kenge’s chin and chest area looked decidedly ‘pink’, a tell-tale sign that an impala had met its end during the night or early hours of the morning.  As the team scrutinised the rest of the pride it appeared that it was only Kenge that looked to have fed indicating that she is perhaps still in the habit of engaging in a spot of solo hunting.  With impala fawn born and a successful kill notched up by Kenge over the last few days, it serves to remind us that the circle of life continues even within Ngamo. 

L-R: Kenge, AS4, Ashanti, Kwali

L-R: Kenge, AS4, Ashanti, Kwali

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