AT1 and the cubs enjoy playing in the cooler weather
On the 11th it was time again to perform another of the territorial playbacks. Today the pride would be played a recording of a group of 12 lions. Previous playback studies of lions have demonstrated that they are unlikely to move off to investigate ‘intruders’ when outnumbered so our research team were excited to see the pride’s response. Whilst preparations for the playback were being made the older members of the pride lazed in the sun. Meanwhile AT1 and her siblings made their own fun by chasing one another around the shrubs. As the recording commenced and the 12 imposing roars sounded over their territory, the lions quickly sat up to attention! AT1 and AS5, who were busily clambering up tree trunks, quickly left their games and they darted from the bushes towards the rest of the group, not quite knowing what to make of it all. The rest of the pride however remained still, just listening intently to the sound. But it was Milo who eventually made his move and, as he wandered off (rather than running when he has previously been played the sounds of lions numbering less than the Ngamo pride) to survey the area, he again proved how protective he is of his pride.
As the pride took a leisurely stroll along Route 66 on the afternoon of the 13th our research team were halted by a bit of a commotion some way ahead. With her shoulders hunched AT1 had begun to stalk and, attracting the cubs’ attention, KE3, KE4 and AS4 soon joined the ‘hunt.’ Moments later all became clear and a tiny mouse ran for its life from the cats. AS5 in the meantime was making a nuisance of himself by ankle-tapping Nala and jumping all over her as she attempted to follow the girls.
AS5 annoys his aunt Nala
On the morning of the 14th, following a rather lengthy search for the pride, Milo and co were finally located in the Amboseli area of the site. As the females lay scattered around the area exposing their large satisfied bellies, Milo and the cubs were tucking into the remains of a zebra kill that had fallen victim to the pride in the early hours of the morning. Towards midday Milo had finally had his fill and he made his way towards the girls to take a rest from his tiresome feeding. As he approached the group young AS4 jumped up and she enthusiastically greeted dad. Dad however was too distracted to accept his daughter’s offer of affection as, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Nala rise to her paws and make her way slowly towards the unattended carcass. Milo swiftly turned around, leaving AS4 and her attempts to play rebuffed, and he too made his way back towards the kill site. As Nala continued in her stride Milo comically upped his pace, glancing at the slender lioness who was hoping for another share of their meal. With the panic he looked to be feeling almost palpable our research team were highly amused, and as he reached the carcass AS4 hurriedly took her place and began to feed. Being his usual stubborn self he promptly sat down between AS4 and Nala, preventing the low ranking female from feeding and allowing his cub to dine in peace. After a few moments Nala gave up her hopes of lunch and rejoined the girls to sleep away the rest of the afternoon. Never mind Nala, maybe next time.
AS4, Milo and Nala