Three golden cubs

10 03 2011

We set off to find the Ngamo pride in the morning (9th March) feeling somewhat guilty after lavishing most of our attention upon Athena’s cubs.

We watched in anticipation as a herd of impala meandered along the road, unawares of the three lionesses stalking them from the bushes. Yet the heat of the day soon took its toll and our lionesses collapsed in a heap in the spotted shade of the Tree Tops area. Athena had rejoined the pride yet there was no sign of her cubs.

We decided to take the opportunity to try and catch another visual of the cubs whilst Athena socialized. We pulled up very slowly to where we had last noted them.  Three little golden faces popped out from the bushes to investigate the rumble of our approaching engine. Switching off  we all held our breath so as not to scare them away.  One decided their view from the boulder was not enough to satisfy its curiosity.  We watched in awe as the little brave cub meandered his or her way down the boulder and through the grass to a small opening upon the ground.  Their bravery soon caught on as its siblings also began to creep down from their den to sniff out the new company.

After a better visual of us and a quick sniff of the air they decided we were of no real interest and bounded back up to the safety of the den.

As fantastic as it is to see all three cubs in such healthy condition and already exploring their habitat, they are still at risk from predation, especially so from birds of prey. Lets hope that they do not begin to stray too far from their den-curiosity can kill the cub as well as the cat!

 

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Keep counting!

9 03 2011

Athena strikes again!

After our fantastic discovery the day before the Ngamo research team set out again to track down Athena’s two cubs. Signal lead us back to the Serengeti East area but it appeared she had moved her litter to a small rocky outcrop amongst the sea of grass. This den looked the business; large boulders and crevices for exploring, trees and bushes for climbing, tall grass for hiding in; cub heaven! We soon spotted mum and co. milling around the ‘kopje’, an identical scene from any real Serengeti based documentary! But whilst taking some more shots our researcher noticed something a little extra. The visual wasn’t too clear but after an hour of peering down her camera lens she picked out a third cub!!

After being so certain there was only one cub finding a second, let alone a third, was beyond our expectations.

We kept a respectable distance from the feline family as Athena looked on proudly whilst resting upon the rock. Her cubs edged out of the surrounding vegetation to take a gander at the mysterious white and green “animal” that appeared to be joining them periodically!  One cub in particular became very bold, creeping forward and almost stalking our vehicle, perhaps a little hunter in the maker!

We left the four leo’s in peace and drove to catch up with the rest of the pride. To no surprise we found them fast asleep in the Estosha area.

We are ecstatic to see Athena’s cubs in such stunning condition. We are also hoping to see more integration of the 3 new members into the pride over the next few days.

 








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