The mornings in Ngamo have begun to get very chilly recently and over the last few days as the dawn mists begin to lift, the research team have been met by the pride taking a stroll around their territory. Just before midday on May 3rd, the pride encountered a scavenge that had been concealed in vegetation in the Camp area of the site. They enthusiastically began to tuck into their hearty meal; however, it was undoubtedly the research team that was the most excited by the transpiring events.
Often, as it is with most wild prides, low-ranking females (such as Kwali and Nala) find difficulty in gaining access to food, often being displaced by their higher-ranking counterparts. This has been evident in the Ngamo pride on numerous occasions.
This time, however, Kwali displayed some rather cunning tactics in order to ensure that she got her fair share of the meal. Appearing completely uninterested in her pride mates' feast, she patiently waited at the edge of the group, whilst maintaining a close eye for an opportunity with when to make her move. The research team were rather amused by her antics, as it was clear (at least to them) what she was up to. Surely enough, as soon as a small gap among her pride mates presented itself; Kwali darted in between them and successfully snatched herself a whopping chunk of meat! Her cunningly devised plan seemed to have worked. The research team were most impressed with her performance as she swiftly headed off into shrub cover to enjoy her victory in privacy.
Following the meal, the females and AS5 remained around Camp for the following few days; this was to be expected whilst remnants of their meal were still lying about the area. Milo, however, was nowhere to be seen. Disappearing after a meal would definitely not be considered uncommon behaviour for the pride male. The best possible explanation for his absence was that he had tucked himself, and the large portion of meat he had claimed, away from prying eyes, allowing him to feed at his leisure - completely undisturbed.
On the morning of May 10th, the pride was relaxing in the part of the release site known as Amboseli. The cold weather seemed to be getting the better of most of the lions as they huddled closely together, utilizing each other’s body heat for warmth. However, that did not seem to be the case for Phyre and Kenge.
The more mature females of the pride broke out unexpectedly into an episode of play, energetically chasing each other through the area. KE3 was drawn out of the huddle by jealousy, inspired by her mother's antics, and couldn’t resist joining in. She and Phyre playfully pawed at each other before she tackled Phyre, rolling on the ground.
In order to ensure that the release site remains well-stocked with game as well as to keep track of the hunting successes of the pride, the research team regularly perform game counts within the Ngamo release site. One such count that was performed this week interestingly revealed that the impala herd are down by two!
Impala kills can quite easily go by unnoticed, particularly if the hunt is conducted during the night when the research team are not around. An impala can be consumed in a very short space of time in comparison to that of a larger mammal, and having much smaller bones, there can often be very little evidence of a kill being made at all. This however demonstrates that the pride is successfully hunting, even if the team are not always lucky enough to witness it first-hand.