It had been some time since we last performed territorial playback on the Ngamo pride and so on 21st we gathered the equipment and headed out to the release site. Today we would be playing a recording of a mixed group of lions, 1 male and 5 females, a smaller group size than that of the Ngamo pride. As the pride rested together in the Amboseli area of the site we set the playback to be called from the corner of Serengeti West at the other side of the site. As previous playbacks have been dominated by Milo displaying very territorial behaviour it was the response of the females we were particularly interested in today; and they rose to the occasion, quite literally.
As soon as the roaring was audible Phyre rose to her feet, followed quickly by Milo, Kenge and AT1. Phyre did not hesitate and began to walk in the direction of the roaring, not even pausing to glance back at her fellow pride members for support, who were swiftly following behind her.
As the procession began a bold AT1 hastily overtook Kenge and Milo and took her place alongside the pride’s alpha female for the duration of the lengthy walk to investigate. Kenge and Ashanti must have been very proud mums indeed as their cubs moved along amongst the group seeming very confident and interested. Being that our young Ngamo lions are now aged 10 and 11 months this is extremely encouraging as we would expect to see them beginning to partake in territorial defence from around the age of 8 months old. There was however slightly less urgency to investigate by the usually vigilant Nala and Narnia and they walked slowly at the back of the group.
Nala & Narnia
Eventually the pride came to a stop, expertly arriving in Serengeti West where the mysterious roars originated from. They rested there, all perhaps still a little intrigued as to where the interloping lions were, as the heat of the day began to set in.