Whatever mum can do…

19 04 2011

Its the 17th and Athena’s cub, who we believe to be female is with the whole pride as they rest in the Amboseli area of the site.  Milo moves off into the long grass, the cub following to investigate where he is going.  Shortly the cub returned and rested near to Narnia.  But our playful addition was not content with that for long and moved to Kwali to chew on her collar as Kwali vocalized affectionately.

The little activity observed in the pride was abruptly disturbed by some serious sleeping action until mid-afternoon; Athena’s cub copying mum’s pose

Later that day the pride had not moved, but the cub had woken and was in serious play mode.  This started by attacking the grass but quickly moved into jumping around on aunty Narnia’s face.

An old impala bone was next to focus the cubs attention, and then with a quick hop skip and a jump it was Phyre’s turn to be climbed on; who seemed less agreeable to this than Narnia.

Getting its early hunting practice in the cub stalked aunt Kwali before jumping on her (to no reaction) and then rushing towards Athena for a quick grooming session.  That done is was back towards Phyre vocalizing at her before sneaking past and biting her aunt’s tail, which received the  growled response you would expect.  Phyre moved away but that  did not stop the little one who followed moments later and continued to chew on the black tuft at the end of Phyre’s tail.  Phyre moved again.

Having then tried to chew on mum’s tail and got much the same response from her as from Phyre the cub headed to a tree.  Athena followed and the pair shared a claw sharpening moment.

The cub moved from adult to adult playing happily until the sun fell on another day in Ngamo.

But there is a sting in the tail of this story today.  Kenge has lost her second cub.  We can only make assumptions as to why four out of five of the cubs born so far to the Ngamo Pride have not survived – there are many complexities to these occurrences and the reasons may never be known.  We have acknowledged from the start that this innovative, original and complex program would encounter what may appear to be setbacks, but may also be seen as nature taking its course. We have no ability to incorporate advice from concurrent or past programs. We are pioneers, and accept all responsibilities associated with that designation. As the lions attain their skills, so will we. ALERT is ultimately dedicated to the conservation of this magnificent species. All beginnings are difficult, but we will dedicate our adaptive and considered energies to succeed.

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2 responses

19 04 2011
Joyce Kinton

Lovely pics in the minds eye with the mischeivious little one making havoc between the ladies of the tribe !!
On a note of sadness the concern for why only 4 cubs have survived…
I suppose if a pride is being so closely watched its going to happen, as it does for any wild animal…
Im sure David and his team will search closely to find the answer to this problem….Is this what happened to Athena;’s cub ?

19 04 2011
margaret undery

Milo`s turn to get on with it now and produce some more cubs

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