How the Ngamo pride celebrated Halloween (not for the feint hearted!)

1 11 2011

The day started off with a bang on Sunday (30 October) with the researchers entering the site in the early morning to see Nala and Narnia chasing a herd of zebra.  Within moments Narnia brought a juvenile down and Nala took the stranglehold position at the neck.  It was a thrilling experience to see the lionesses do what they do best and with such prowess.  The zebra called out and tried to kick as Narnia started to bite into the abdomen, which signalled to the rest of the pride that they had been successful in their hunt.  Quickly the other lions came trotting along to help the N sisters with their breakfast.  The pride ate without much argument, with Milo coming in for a quick bite to eat of the intestine.  The researchers were grossed out to see him suck up the bowels like spaghetti!  Even AT1 managed to squeeze in between Nala and Kwali to fill her belly with zebra meat.  After they had finished eating, AT1 sat down to rest next to the carcass and Nala laid her head on top of AT1’s belly.  AT1 then cupped her forepaws around Nala’s head, giving it a squeeze.

Later on in the day, Kenge was spotted walking around in Kruger looking quite nervous.  We then spotted one of her little cubs next to a termite mound, which we presume to be Kenge’s new den site.  We did not want to disturb the mother with her precious offspring so left shortly afterwards.

Monday (31 October) proved to be a difficult day to find the lions.  We were only able to locate Nala and Narnia during the entire day, which suggested that the rest of the pride were hidden away in some tall grass either resting or feeding from a concealed carcass.  Nala and Narnia spent the entire day either hunting or feeding from a pregnant impala that they caught in between the morning and midday session.  Very aptly for it being Halloween, the sisters ate gruesomely, sucking out the eyeballs from the skull and biting into the head to get to the brains.  They also found a small but well-formed foetus in the womb of the impala, which pleased Narnia greatly as she dived in for the tiny treat and started to play with it like a cat over a dead mouse.  It seemed as if the brutal killers were not even that hungry, as they spent most of the midday session playing with their food rather than eating.  One could even conclude that these lions have become just too good at hunting!

By Tuesday (1 November) Nala and Narnia were not content with the previous day’s hunts and spent the entire morning chasing after any game that they could see.  At one point, Narnia was surrounded by wildebeest, impala and zebra and looked as if she couldn’t decide which prey to go for as she was spoiled for choice!  We half expected to come back in the midday session to see them on a kill again, but found the entire pride resting by waterhole two feeding on the remains of the impala carcass from yesterday.  Even Kenge showed her face for a short while as she gnawed on a leg-bone and drank at the waterhole.  She then left back in the direction of her den after midday.

After Phyre got up from eating part of the carcass to go for a quick drink, she was surprised to see that sneaky AT1 had taken control of her lunch whilst she had left it unattended.  Phyre tried to get it back, but brave AT1 snarled and growled at her, retaining her stolen lunch completely for herself.  We were quite impressed at AT1’s ability to hold her own against the most dominant female of the pride, which shows that this little cub may well grow up to be a very dominant female herself!

 

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4 responses

1 11 2011
Yvonne Barton

I wish I hadn’t been eating breakfast when I read and saw the photo of Milo eating the intestines! Happy to hear that AT1 is doing so well and asserting herself – she will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

6 11 2011
slovakianchic

Hi Yvonne…miss you – miss AP – miss the Pride – looking forward to your updates. Let me know when Kenge reintroduces her cubs, Ashanti has started denning, Phyre has her first relation with Milo, and how your man shadowing (lady shadowing) job is going. I am sure you are doing a fabulous job as you are so capable of doing whatever you want to do. Keep up your great work. Fondly, Be a

6 11 2011
slovakianchic

When you see slovakianchic – that would be me – BEA from Montreal, Quebec Canada. Do not forget me….please…..also say a special Hi to Kailos, bushman.

1 11 2011
Holly

Like Yvonne – wish I had not just eaten lunch!! – What a gruesome and very detailed graphic description – very apt for halloween!! – putting that to one side I am very happy that AT1 is thriving without her Mom and holding her own. I have always said that this little cub has spirit and I am sure that one day she will be the dominent one!

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