Giving The Game Away
January 17 2015

The past week or so in Ngamo has been relatively quiet and the pride has been taking it easy in some of their favoured spots of the release site.  Their mornings and afternoons have produced little activity but by the evening time, as the sun begins to set, there have been long periods of social bonding with lots of head rubbing and social licking. 

Although the pride have spent most of their days resting there are often moments when, although it appears that nothing is happening, we can still gain a lot of insight into the life of a lion. 

On the morning of the 10th of January the pride were located resting together in the Treetops area, soaking up the morning sun.  By the afternoon Milo had separated himself from the rest of the pride and he was to be found wandering through the Masai Mara area.  However Milo was not alone in Masai Mara and it wasn’t long before he spotted the impala herd who were already stood motionless, vigilant to their predator.

 

The research team eagerly awaited Milo’s next move and after a few moments of watching the impala he simply relaxed and sat down, allowing the herd to gradually move out of sight. 

It is often said that male lions do not tend to do a great deal of hunting but this is not necessarily always the case.  Studies of wild lion have indicated that males do indeed take an active part in hunting but that the habitat in which they hunt may differ to that of the females, choosing to pursue their prey in thicker, denser vegetation as opposed to the open grasslands of the savannah.  As males can be much larger in size than females, and a long thick mane can quite literally give the game away, the more bushy areas of woodland would allow a male to conceal himself better. 

As the Masai Mara area of Ngamo is one of open grassland this may well be an example of Milo’s ability to assess his surroundings and his low chance of making a successful kill, as well as giving further valuable insight for the research team into the pride’s ever-interesting natural behaviour.  

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