When AT1 met KE4 (you get KT5?)

14 01 2012

On Thursday (5 January) morning, as Milo wandered along Route 66, Phyre, Nala and AT1 were taking it easy relaxing in Serengeti East.  The hot weather was obviously taking its toll on the lions as they remained there all day long.  Nala however, always on the alert for a good hunt, mustered up the energy for a brief moment and stalked impala that were grazing in the near distance.  Having only relaxation on their minds, Phyre and AT1 continued to sleep through the whole episode and soon Nala returned to join them, giving up on breakfast. 

The next morning, Friday (6 January,) Nala roamed alone in Etosha, appearing to look lost.  It wasn’t too long before she met up with Narnia and unfortunately for Nala it appeared as if she may have missed out on a good meal as her sister rested in the shade with a very large belly.  On searching the site we eventually found what we expected in the dense woodland area of Treetops; a zebra kill currently being finished off by Milo with Ashanti waiting patiently in the wings.  Close by, resting under a bush near waterhole 3 lay a rather rotund Kenge with two tubby cubs confirming that they too had enjoyed a long-awaited meal.  By midday we had also spotted Phyre, Kwali and AT1 resting in Treetops with full bellies leaving only unlucky Nala missing out on the feast.  As the day drew in Kenge, who had now been joined by Ashanti, remained in her shady spot with KE3 and KE4.  A thirsty AT1 making her way to waterhole 3 passed them by, and on her return stopped inquisitively and watched KE3 and KE4 suckling mum.  As AT1 curiously approached Kenge, a similarly curious KE4 moved towards AT1 and greeted her with a mini head rub.  Excited by the possibility of a playmate KE4 attempted to play with AT1 but the young lioness seemed taken aback by the little lion and she moved away and sat nearby continuing to watch as KE3 and KE4 played together.  As Ashanti rose to her feet, so too did AT1 and the pair, leaving Kenge and her cubs resting, made their way towards Leopard Tree as the sun began to set.

On Saturday (7 January), after a very long search of the site we eventually came across Milo, Kenge and their cubs lying hidden in the shade of a tree in Etosha.  The very hot weather was obviously having no effect on KE3 and KE4 as they played together, even engaging in stalks and pounces on each other!  Seeing Milo resting nearby was just too much to resist and they approached their sleepy dad and attempted to include him in their fun.  But the grumpy male was in no mood for games and after a few warning snarls he, only gently, patted KE4 down with his paw leaving her startled for a moment.   KE3, not risking the same scolding, moved away from Milo and instead amused herself by playing with a stick.  Not too far away, also in Etosha, Phyre, Ashanti, Nala, Narnia, Kwali and AT1 all spent their afternoon lazing about in the hot sunshine, only moving to find themselves a cool shady spot to see out the day. 

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One response

14 01 2012
Greentracker

A thoughtful heading and another excellent post, I feel like I am there just reading about these little cubs KE3 & KE4! Just love them.
Theres Milo show of being the boss, occasionaly putting them in place.
Kenga and Ashanti as ever watchful mum’s.
I love the way KE4 is so adventurous and mischievous.
I really need to come out there next year and spend all my day’s just watching them. (With my Nikon & 800mm)
That’s how inspired I feel, reading about this fantastic pride, the research team’s posts and photographs really do hit my love of a free and self sustaining wildlife. Thank you.

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