Kenge is visibly growing

8 09 2011

Following on from Phyre’s possible pregnancy, the team are now cautiously excited about the prospect of another female being “with cub(s)”

Over recent days Kenge has started to show similar signs to Phyre that indicate that she may also soon become a mother. It has been two months since she last mated with Milo and as the photo shows her belly is looking very rounded and her teats pronounced.

If both girls are pregnant they are due to give birth within a week or so of each other, which will allow them to form a crèche and share mothering duties if everything goes well. Lions with allo-suckle cubs; allowing cubs from other litters to suckle as well as their own.  And Ashanti is possibly only slightly behind in timing on the pregnancy front.

Of course it will probably be a few weeks after birth until the team get a good look at any arrivals; females den for up to six weeks before introducing new cubs to the pride, although we saw this happen much earlier in the Ngamo pride to date.  Everyone is very excited about the possibility of cubs and the potential mothers are being monitored closely.

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You know that moment when you aren’t sure if you should ask “when are you due?”

30 08 2011

 

It’s coming up on two months since the research team last saw Phyre mating with Milo and the most anticipated question on everyone’s lips is of course, is she pregnant?

It’s difficult to tell with lions whether they are actually carrying cubs until the last few days before they are due to give birth, but Phyre has been showing a few tell tale early signs that suggest that she just might be just be pregnant.

As you can see from the photo taken on Wednesday (24th August) her teats are looking quite enlarged and her belly is more rounded than the other females in the pride. She is also starting to become more cautious when lying down to rest; placing herself very carefully rather than just flopping down like the others usually do.

In the next few weeks the team will carefully monitor her, looking for any signs of milk sacs developing and watching to see if her behaviour changes; like humans lionesses tend to become very uncomfortable towards the very end of their pregnancy. The most obvious sign will be if she moves off from the pride for a few days, indicating that she has gone to find a den site where she can safely give birth and spend the first few weeks with her newborns.

If she is pregnant (which we are all hoping) then it is expected that the cubs will have arrived at the end of September or in early October, so only a few more weeks to wait!





Ashanti: mother to be?

20 05 2011

We joined the Ngamo pride whilst they patrolled the boundaries of their territory this morning (19th May).  They all stopped briefly for a drink from water hole 3 while AT1 practiced her stalking skills on some vulnerable sticks and rocks. It would appear though that one rock got the better of her and sent her rolling into the water hole…

By early afternoon the lions had settled in the Amboseli area but one lioness was struggling to get comfortable. Although not due until next month Ashanti is often appearing restless and uncomfortable. Fortunately her fellow pride member Nala was there to offer some soothing social licking in an attempt to relax the likely pregnant lioness.

Meanwhile AT1 kept herself and our research team highly entertained by mimicking dad’s sleeping positions.








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