Posing and Practising
June 30 2014

In the afternoon of the 21st of June the research team entered the Ngamo release site expecting the lions to be in the Amboseli area where they last saw them earlier that morning.  However, lions being lions, they ended up moving to a more shady location in the Camp area.  All of the lions were present and resting under a small canopy of acacia trees and enjoying the warm breeze in the winter afternoon.  About an hour later, the pride started to wake one by one and enjoyed a grooming session. 

After they had completed their licking bath, each lion would stretch in a yoga pose and sluggishly moved over to a nearby tree to scratch the trunk.  They each took their turn with the scratching post.  Once KE3 was done she moved to the ant hill next to the tree to start her sun bathing.  AT1 and AS5 saw what their half-sister had in mind and joined her on the ant hill.  The research team saw this as a great photo opportunity and drove around to get a better view.  It looked like a small family portrait with the three sub-adults perching nonchalantly and effortlessly.  Shortly after, they noticed their parents moving towards the nearby waterhole to quench their thirst and quickly joined them.

Left to right KE3, AT1, AS5

KE3, AT1 & AS5

While everyone was joining in the movement to the waterhole, AS4 had a different agenda.  She seemed to be the only one who noticed the three impala on the other side of the waterhole, standing cryptically in the brush.  At first, the research team couldn’t figure out what she was so vigilant on; but she stood like a statue and started to creep backwards, one leg at a time - not taking her eyes off her target. 

AS4

Then suddenly she crouched down close to the ground and flanked right onto a small road; stalking quickly but stealthily.  It wasn’t long until the research team realized what she was stalking when an impala ram ran for safety toward the Camp area.

AS4

AS4 wasn’t done yet; she saw a few more impala trying to camouflage themselves from her.  Again, she crept down and out of sight from the research team when two female impala ran in front of the research vehicle towards the waterhole.  She stood where they once were and quickly realized that her pride members were long gone from sight.  She trotted down Route 66 in between the Masai Mara area and the Amboseli area and greeted her pride members as if she were telling them what she almost accomplished.  It was good practice, but no prize unfortunately for the novice young lion. 

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