Ashanti… and family

13 06 2011

We’ve begun to notice some disparity amongst our pride members recently in their groupings and movements. Unusually Phyre’s shadow Kwali appears to be distancing herself from Phyre and following the lead of Ashanti.

We saw a brief meet and greet with most pride members in Masai Mara during the morning (10th June) before we moved off to try and track down Ashanti and Kwali.

We found Ashanti the previous day alone and appearing restless, signs of an impending birth? and telemetry signal indicated she had now moved into the mixed woodland of Hwange…the perfect den habitat.

We moved off road slightly to try and obtain a more accurate signal. Our researcher listened intently to the telemetry set for any indication of direction when a piercing shriek was heard from the woodland. We switched off our engine and strained to hear the unusual call again. After a few seconds the din started and it was all too apparent what was making such a racket!

It would appear out lovely lioness Ashanti has given birth! We did not approach further as we suspect the new mother to have only given birth the previous night and most likely to be extremely tired. We sat in the early morning sun and listened to the litter of what we believe to be more than 1 cub, call and cry to Ashanti in-between suckling.

The following day as the research team tracked through the area again Ashanti was in a more visible spot.  From this photo, taken from a distance and through thick grass, we can clearly see one cub suckling whilst another is possibly sitting in front of her face.  Are there two or are there more?  We will be leaving the new family alone to get to know each other and look forward to the cubs departure from the den and better visuals in a few weeks.

Phyre, meanwhile, has been seen mating again so our suspicions that she had not conceived whilst mating back in February seems to be well placed.

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6 responses

13 06 2011
Tracey

Congratulations, on the new arrivals! Now AT1 will have some new playmates — at least, approx. 6 weeks from now! Milo will once again make a wonderful baba!! And it’s guaranteed that most of the aunts will love the cubs, too; Ashanti will be glad for any assistance, regarding a creche!! 🙂

13 06 2011
Tommy

With Phyre mating again, just wondering do Nala and Narnia ever mate?

13 06 2011
africanlionenvironmentalresearchtrust

Nala and Narnia are spayed to stop any chances of inbreeding depression as their parents were brother and sister. The pair were given sanctuary at the request of their previous owners to save them from being euthanized. As we do with all sanctuary lions we have we try to integrate them into the program. In their case they are great hunters and add to the survival of the pride, but for obvious reasons cannot be allowed to breed.

13 06 2011
Tommy

Thankyou for the information

13 06 2011
Joyce Kinton

Well Done Ashanti !!
We cant wait to see how many beautiful cubs she gave birth to !!
To see them all will be so exciting….xx

30 06 2011
xxx tube

Nice Blog !!! your the best

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