Where is Ashanti?

9 11 2011

The pride have spent some time apart from each other these last few days.  During Saturday (5 November) the researchers could only locate Nala, Narnia and AT1 for the entire day.  Nala and Narnia had made a sneaky zebra kill in Amboseli and were acting quiet and secretive so as not to inform the rest of the pride about their large meal.  Normally the prey will make quite a lot of noise when it is taken down by a lion, which will alert the rest of the pride a kill has made.  As Nala and Narnia are low down in the pecking order, however, they usually get chased away from the kill, even though they are the ones who have usually done all the hard work.  This means that they do not get to reap the benefits of all their time and effort that has gone into taking down an animal.  So when they do get a chance to make a sly kill, they won’t tell the rest of the pride about their feast.  Good for them!

As AT1 has been hanging out quite a bit with the N’s, she was probably present when they brought down the animal early on Saturday morning.  This is good news, as it means she is learning from them how to hunt effectively.  It also means that she can eat in peace without any of the more dominant members of the pride kicking her off her dinner.  Lately, AT1 has been showing a greater interest in hunting and spent quite a bit of Monday (7 November) practising her techniques out on inanimate objects first of all and then stalked some zebra and francolin birds later  in the day.  She noticed that other members of the pride were vigilant to the zebra and became focused on the prey herself.  She sat quietly with her ears down and watched them as the animals walked by.  As the herd got closer, she crept behind a bush and waited until the zebra were not looking, and then snuck forward, where she found a very convenient dip in the ground to conceal herself.  Sadly, Narnia ran towards the zebra too soon and scared the herd away, but it is great to see that AT1 is showing fantastic hunting behaviour.

Phyre spent most of the last few days next to Milo however, towards the end of Tuesday, she started to get annoyed with his company.   Ashanti has been absent now for four days, which signifies that she may well have found herself a den to give birth.  It is not guaranteed that she is pregnant, but her behaviour and belly size indicate that she most likely is.  We will update you on news of potential cubs as this develops.

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