Hide and seek
July 31 2012

The pride has been keeping our researcher on her toes these past couple of days with some serious games of hide and seek.  On the 29th it was the cubs that decided that they didn’t want to put in an appearance and whilst the rest of the pride rested in Amboseli, the four youngest members of the Ngamo family were elsewhere in the release site staying low and out of sight. In the wild when cubs are left on their own their natural instinct is to stay still and quiet so not to attract unwanted attention from any potential dangers. To the cubs in the Ngamo pride this includes our research vehicle, therefore making it incredibly difficult for the team to spot them.

On the 30th after an hour of searching all the pride except Kenge, Milo and the cubs were spotted moving towards Tree Tops on what seemed to be a search for game. Unsuccessful in their quest the girls soon settled down to relax in the heat of the day.

Milo & AS4

Milo & AS4

With Kenge and the cubs still missing, our research team set out during the middle of the day to locate them. Soon enough they were spotted resting with Milo in Serengeti East, which is where they stayed until sunset when Kenge called the cubs to follow her, presumably to find the rest of the pride. The other females were also waking up from their slumber, slowly making their way along the boundary road in Kruger to Etosha where they met up with Milo for another night on the prowl.

The morning of the 31st proved to be extremely frustrating for the research team. Having driven practically the whole site without any visual of a lion, the team suddenly spotted the very rotund figure of Nala in the Kruger region of the site. Fat belly, fur covered in blood and panting heavily could only mean one thing. Nala had been feeding on a kill. Hoping that she would lead the team to the rest of the pride on the kill, we followed Nala as she slowly meandered through the thick bush. However she seemed to be taking the team on a wild goose chase and came full circle to rest not far from where she had originally been found.

Frustrated that the pride had clearly been having breakfast together and they hadn’t been invited, the team returned for the midday session hoping that luck would be on their side this time.

Sure enough as the team drove down route 66 in Tree Tops they spotted seven barrel like figures lying in the grass. Phyre, Kwali, Ashanti, Kenge, AT1, AS4 and AS5 had clearly enjoyed a hearty zebra breakfast and were now passed out, looking uncomfortably full, only occasionally raising their heads to enjoy the breeze across their face. Knowing that the kill couldn’t be too far away, the team slowly drove a circle around the females and found Milo sleeping on his back with his back legs resting on the carcass. KE3 and KE4 were also present looking like they would burst any second.

As our researcher watched the lionesses sleep an important lesson was learnt. NEVER sit down wind of a lion that has just gorged itself on a kill. The smells emitting from our regal beauties were anything but ladylike!!





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