It’s been a funny few days in Ngamo with the pride spending almost all of their time lazing in one particular area in The Valley. It wasn’t too much of a surprise though that the place they chose to rest was an attractive but densely vegetated area with plenty of cover for 12 lions to relax. But, it did result in just a hint of frustration for our researcher as the lions lay sprawled together among the shrubs making it quite a task to determine who was who or even which body part belonged to which lion!
Kwali & Phyre
Nevertheless this subdued mood with plenty of lazing around has highlighted to our research team the ever increasing closeness of two particular lionesses in the pride. Phyre, the often grumpy and domineering "top cat" of Ngamo, and Kwali, the endearing, sweet natured but low-ranking "auntie" of the pride have been spending more and more time together of late. Their interesting friendship is blossoming so well that at times their behaviour is often predictable and whenever Phyre rises and moves away from the group, as she so often does, Kwali is always right behind her to see where she is going. On developing a new found love of hunting, Phyre has regularly been backed up by Kwali, and the duo have been witnessed several times leading a hunt and working as a team as they flank their unsuspecting prey.
Kwali & Phyre
But perhaps the biggest clue to the closeness the odd couple have developed is at times of social contact. As the evenings draw in and the rest of the pride relax in the cooling sun Phyre can be seen on many occasion grooming the lucky Kwali, a privilege not every pride member has the regular good fortune of.