The afternoon of the 12th of November and the Ngamo pride were peacefully sleeping in the dappled shade of the trees in the Etosha area of the release site, escaping from the heat of the afternoon sun. As the afternoon began to cool down AT1 slowly rose to her paws, stretched out, and headed off in the direction of Route 66. With her pride snoozing away the research team was curious as to what had grabbed the young lioness’s attention and eagerly followed her.
Once on Route 66 she moved into the long open grasslands of Serengeti East and slowly sunk into a stalking position, carefully making her way through the grass. Ahead the research team spotted a sub adult male impala with a limp - a perfect quarry for the developing AT1. As the impala moved off towards his herd AT1 slowly edged her way,heading directly towards it.
The impala moved into a thicket giving AT1 the chance to close the distance between them. She took cover behind some trees. As the impala moved back into the open again AT1 launched her attack. After a 20m sprint she soon had the injured impala in her grasps and she clenched her jaws around the throat for the kill.
AT1 quickly dragged her kill into long grass. Once she had caught her breath she began to feed. The excitement, however, had attracted some attention from her pride. Rustles in the thicket prompted the arrival of Ashanti with her two cubs; AS4 and AS5. They settled close by causing AT1 to grumble before chasing her younger half-siblings away. However, the distraction gave Ashanti a chance to descend onto the kill. AT1 had no option but to share her feast, and soon AS5 and AS4 had found their place at the table. But AT1's larger aunt, Ashanti, decided that this kill should be for her direct family only and pushed the huntress away from her own kill, settlng back to enjoy the meal with her own cubs only.
Phyre and Nala arrived to join the group in the long grass. Seemingly not interested in the kill they rested nearby and were soon joined by AT1. She exchanged a warm greeting with the pair before they all headed off. Milo could be seen slowly making his way towards the kill to claim his share as the sun began to set over the release site.
AT1 is still a young lion, the first to be born in the release site. She is at an age where her hunting skills are developing, and, here, discovering that targeting injured, old and sick prey is a worthwhile strategy. As she ages she will continue to grow in size, and be better able to retain the kills she makes.
AT1 rests in the long grass with her kill