Up in the trees
August 16 2014


On the 9th of August the research team came into the Ngamo release site with a few yawns and sleepy eyes wondering where the lions were.  They drove around for half an hour and found the pride near the former scavenge drop site gnawing at some left over bones.  The lions were obviously more awake than the research team, being on the move, eating, and playing.  The research team followed the pride when they were done with the scraps towards the Camp area.  They were following AT1 through the grass, with the rest of the pride resting for a few minutes; however, they noticed to their left AS5 crouched down and disappearing into a bush.  The research team looked out of the window to see what he was focused on and saw his sister AS4 trotting down the road. He chased after her and she took the opportunity to run up an ant hill to get away from her tormenting brother.  AS5 wasn’t letting her off that easy though and she had no choice but to retreat to the trees. 


Once AS4 was perched high up in the convoluted branches, AS5 tried to climb after her but to her success there was not enough room and he reluctantly slid back down the trunk.  He sat at the base of the tree, waiting for her to come down. 


But he had another plan. He swiveled around and perched on an ant hill nearby, crouching for optimal attack mode.  She played in the trees, scratching here and there on the twisted branches and then when she saw her brother wasn’t watching, she jumped down and made a run for it.  He wasn’t fooled though and chased after her in a huff.  But he soon gave up seeing that his sister had enough.

But these two weren’t the only ones that got the tree play fever.  After following the pride once more in the Amboseli area, the research team noticed some other lions in another tree and an ant hill.  It was AT1 and KE3.  AT1 was intrigued by something in the distance while KE3 stood behind her on the ant hill and ankle tapped her a few times to get her attention.  AT1 looked like she was pretending to ignore her and when KE3 was distracted by a nearby sound from the bushes; she planned her element of surprise and pounced!  But KE3 was too quick and ran off before AT1 could make contact.  The research team was entertained and thinking to themselves, “Well, at least someone is awake and enjoying the brisk Saturday morning!”  


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