11 03 2012

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed observing Ashanti’s little girl and boy more and more with the pride recently. They, along with KE3 and KE4 have been milling around the pride on a daily basis and igniting a playful mood in AT1.

There were no cubs spotted on the morning on the 9th however, which was a blessing in disguise as the females spotted a small herd of impala in the Valley area and got straight to work. The Valley, Hwange and Tree Tops areas managed to escape the bush fire that swept through in Ngamo last year allowing the grass to tower and thicken. An impala ram was seen over looking the ocean of grass from a tall termite mound keeping a watchful eye out over his harem of females. We tried our best to maintain a visual of the females from the road with binoculars poised but the grass was impossible to see through. Our researcher placed her binoculars down and decided the sit and listen intently. Sure enough the sound of fleeing impala was soon heard and Kwali was seen chasing the ram and his females along the boundary road but sadly they managed to escape into the grass.

On the 10th we found the pride had relocated in the Camp area. We’ve noticed over the past few months the pride, especially the females, are roaring less and less. This is perfectly normal behaviour with young cubs now a part of the pride. Whilst roaring is a vital component of territorial defense lionesses will not advertise their presence nor challenge intruders if there are young cubs present incase a conflict were to occur putting the cubs at risk. However Milo has been noted to advertise his territory on occasion still and one particular bout certainly caught the attention of one of his girls. Our researcher was shocked to hear a ferociously deep mini-roar bellow from a nearby bush where both KE3 and 4 were resting by mother Kenge. Even Kenge appeared quite taken a-back by the cubs vocalization. Although we could not see which cubs specifically piped up our researcher put an educated guess upon KE3 who so far has shown to be the most boisterous and noisy of the two sisters.


Territorial practice

22 07 2011

As AT1 continues to grow and learn from her more experienced pride elders she will also start to become actively involved in territorial behaviours with the pride.

On Wednesday (20th July) we started to observe the beginnings of this when Milo initiated a roaring chorus within the pride. As Milo’s deep booming roar reverberated through our research team, the females joined in letting everyone in the nearby vicinity know whose land this was. AT1 watched with intense curiosity and then our research team heard a very high-pitched, short roar (if you can call it that) from our youngest female. Our research team watched with great amusement as she stood up and walked next to Milo and gave all she had got for the duration of the pride’s roaring bout.

It is interesting to note that her attempt at roaring gives a much longer and lower vocalisation than her normal call, very clearly indicating that she is attempting to copy her older pride members.  It will be another 18 months or so though before her voice can create a proper roar.

Throughout the late afternoon more roaring bouts took place and each time AT1 joined in, looking very pleased and proud of herself after every one. Our research team left the site in the early evening smiling to themselves as they heard her once again attempting to roar alongside Milo.

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