Not breaking the habit of recent days, on the morning of the 11th the pride were all together resting in Amboseli. With the hot weather unrelenting it was a pleasant surprise to see how playful the younger members of the Ngamo pride were being. At midday, as the adults sensibly rested to keep cool whilst a restless AT1 meandered around the area and soon came back to the group carrying a fruit that had dropped from a nearby tree. AT1’s new toy was obviously too interesting for AS4 to ignore and she promptly joined AT1s side to play along.
Above, AT1, below, AT1 & AS4
By early evening, as the pride began a leisurely patrol of their territory, AT1 luckily came across a piece of wildebeest tail from a previously enjoyed meal. She picked it up and carried it with her as the pride continued their procession. As soon as the cubs saw AT1 had something of interest they all ran quickly to her but it was KE3 who got there first and she promptly took the tail into her mouth and began to play with it. Nala, who has always seemed to enjoy playtime with the cubs of Ngamo, also made her way over to see what all the fuss was about and as she approached KE3 she was quickly met with a snappy snarl and a mini paw to her nose making her aware that KE3 was not at all willing to share her new toy. KE3’s confidence is clearly beginning to grow but it will be some time yet before she will get away with reprimanding Nala and her elders on a regular basis.
KE3 & Nala
The next day the research team found the pride in The Valley tucking into the remains of dinner from the previous evening. It had been over a week since the pride had last eaten and so tempers were fraught as everyone tried to get a few more mouthfuls while Milo wasn’t looking. The team regularly witness perfect displays of dominance from Milo at mealtimes, often engaging in a stand- off over a carcass with alpha female Phyre. Today however even the usual devotion of sisters Nala and Narnia was tested as Nala quickly grabbed herself a small piece of meat and Narnia fought with her until she gave it up. But there’s one lion in Ngamo at the moment that Milo seems to have a soft spot for and that is his son AS5. As Dad rested nearby, not permitting any other pride members to eat as he often does, AS5 gingerly walked up to the remains and began his second sitting, with Milo making no attempt to stop him. Milo may well have been doing his son a favour if he had chased him away as his amusing huge belly looked as though it was about to go ‘pop’!