The month of October started much as September ended with the pride spending most of their time lazing in the heat and finding whatever shade they could.
October 1st brought just a hint of excitement to Ngamo as, in the afternoon, whilst the whole pride rested together in Etosha. A herd of impala passed by around 70 metres away from a very interested Phyre, AT1, Nala, Kwali and, encouragingly, Ashanti’s two cubs, AS4 & AS5. For a short time our researcher watched with anticipation as Phyre sniffed the air, Kwali watched with intent and AS4 and AS5 bobbed their heads up and down as the antelope moved in the near distance. Unfortunately though sniffing and watching would be all that was going to happen today and they all soon returned to their naps. Ashanti, not being quite so interested as her offspring, continued to sleep, or should we say snore, through the whole affair.
On the morning of the 3rd Phyre, Kenge, Kwali, Ashanti, AT1 and AS5 were all found flat out and looking suitably stuffed at waterhole 2 following a substantial meal the previous evening. Meanwhile Milo and his 3 other cubs were resting nearby keeping a close eye on what was left of yesterday’s dinner.
Milo and cubs
By mid morning Milo had wandered along to the waterhole and Kenge, swapping babysitting duties, had left the group to join up with the cubs. As Phyre slept at the edge of the waterhole her tail lay in the water. As she occasionally flicked it in the air she showered AS4 who lay right beside her. Each time Phyre’s tail gave a twitch puzzled AS4 awoke with wonder as to where the mysterious splashes were coming from. AS4 didn’t seem too put out it by it all, certainly not enough to pick herself and her huge belly up to move away from the offending tail induced shower.
Phyre & AS4 on the edges of a waterhole
As the day came to an end Milo was once again with his cubs and their respective mums, Kenge and Ashanti, at the site of yesterday’s leftovers. As the cubs are growing so too are their appetites and this is causing moments of aggression between the little pride members. KE3 and KE4, who turn one year old on the 4th, are now beginning to develop the adult-like aggression that is seen at feeding time amongst lions. In a trait obviously picked up from the dominant adults of the pride, the two cubs entered into a tug of war over a favoured scrap of meat with neither one willing to relent, a sight so often seen between Milo and Phyre at times of eating. This is such exciting behaviour to witness and extremely reassuring that the cubs in Ngamo are developing perfectly.
Happy birthday to the beautiful girls that are KE3 & KE4. Here are a few images from now, and over the year of their membership of the Ngamo pride. We also include a video of when the cubs were brought by mum, Kenge, to the pride.
KE3 & KE4 as they are now
KE4 with bigger half sister AT1
KE3 is chased up a tree by half-brother AS5
KE3 & KE4 as they were then
KE3, KE4 with mum, Kenge
Kenge brings her cubs, KE3 & KE4 to spend some time with the rest of the pride