On the morning of the 28th the team came across the pride - minus Milo and KE4 - lazing around waterhole one looking suspiciously rotund. A quick zebra count in the release site confirmed our inkling that the pride had made a kill overnight, but the carcass was nowhere in sight, suggesting that the pride had already finished their meal and moved off from where they had been feeding. Spending the day completely horizontal the only action came from AS4 who briefly stalked birds by the waterhole before settling down to sleep once again.
On the 29th the pride were found on the boundary road of Kruger, once again spending their morning lazing around with the occasional play bout between the cubs and Narnia.
The hunt is on. Photo courtesy of Torie Hilley
When the team arrived in the afternoon a zebra hunt was well on it’s way with all the females stalking towards two unaware zebra, approximately 200 metres away. Surprisingly it was Phyre that was leading the way, stalking quickly and skilfully through the grass. As she got closer to the target, Phyre flanked right and the team lost visual. Following two of the other females the team desperately tried to spot the other lionesses in the grass. But they just weren’t quick enough. As they drove through Tree Tops, the figure of Phyre panting heavily on top of an adult zebra was enough to tell the story. Hunting legends Nala and Narnia were also present and most likely involved in the kill as well, but it was Phyre that was out of breath and feeding from back end, suggesting that she was the one who did the majority of the work. It seems as though Phyre’s new found love of hunting is starting to pay off.
Phyre and AS4 shortlyafter the kill was made. Photo courtesy of Torie Hilley
On the 30th the pride was still munching on the previous night’s kill with Milo once again dominating the feeding time. Clearly not happy with dad’s selfish behaviour KE3 and KE4 bravely approached a snarling Milo to grab a couple of nibbles before losing their nerve and quickly retreating to the safety of mom.
AT1 relaxes at waterpan 1
1st September was yet another pivotal moment in the lives of the Ngamo pride with it being two years since the release of the females. Clearly wanting to celebrate in style, Milo, Ashanti, Kenge and the cubs were found in Hwange feasting on a kill whilst Nala, Narnia, Phyre, Kwali and AT1 were having their own celebration party at waterhole one. As the heat of the day kicked in the party became somewhat subdued as the lions sought out the nearby shade to recover from all the excitement.