The morning of the 8th found the pride all resting together in Amboseli and it was there they remained for the duration of the day. By late afternoon, as the temperature started to cool, the pride slowly began their ritual of stretching and grooming as one by one they began to wake from their sleep. As Kwali was taking in her surroundings she caught a glimpse of a herd of impala leisurely feeding around 70 metres away. Phyre soon spotted the impala too and as she looked on at the antelope Kwali made a move and began to stalk towards them. With our researcher’s attention focused solely on Kwali and her slow stalk through the long grass towards the unsuspecting impala the reason for their sudden flee came to be a complete mystery. Until, that is, the team realised Phyre was nowhere to be seen! As the team gradually moved further into Amboseli Phyre finally came into sight, right at the spot where the impala had been grazing. Perfectly, Phyre had seized the moment and had flanked far to the right of the herd and it was now apparent that she was the reason for the impala running for safety. Leaving Kwali a little bemused and with no option but to give up she and Phyre reunited and they consoled each other with a grooming session as the rest of the pride made their way to join them.
Our research team are fortunate to have been joined by a Facilitated Research Student from the University of Utrecht who will be concentrating her research on territorial behaviours within the Ngamo pride. Up to now territorial playbacks have been performed on a somewhat random basis but the arrival of our research student will provide us with more regular and controlled studies. On the morning of the 9th, as the pride saw the day in by resting together in Amboseli again, we commenced a playback of a group of 8 lions of mixed gender to our unsuspecting pride. The whole pride reacted quickly turning their heads in the direction of the roaring. The cubs hastily moved to the centre of the group for safety and KE3 and KE4 stayed by the side of their mother Kenge as the pride began to move off to investigate. Once again it was Phyre who led the procession with Kwali in close succession behind her. Ashanti, Nala, AT1, KE and the cubs were next to follow but interestingly on this occasion Narnia, although vigilant to the sounds of the roaring, chose not to move to follow the females. She instead remained resting beside Milo, further confirming our suspicions that she is spending a lot more of her attention on the handsome male.
Narnia & Milo
Even more interestingly Milo in turn appears to be becoming a lot more tolerant of the low-ranking lioness. What this means at the moment in terms of her position within the pride and any possible move up in the rankings of dominance is yet unknown but we will be keeping an eye on this relationship closely in the coming months.
The 10th saw very little activity amongst the pride and they spent the whole day resting once again at Cub Hill. In between their long sleepy sessions, amongst the usual bouts of licking and head rubs, were some beautifully tender moments of motherhood from Kenge as she and her daughter KE4 lazed together as the sun set on another lovely lazy day in Ngamo.
Kenge & KE4