A bad omen on the wind
May 17 2012

We rolled into Ngamo on the afternoon of the 13th and found a suspiciously plump Ashanti lounging by water hole one. Rustling and squeaks from the nearby reeds suggested the cubs were playing close by, but no other pride members were to be seen. We encircled the reeds for a better visual of the cubs and found another larger than life lioness comatose. Kenge barely batted an eyelid as her cubs tumbled to and fro over her extended belly. By now our researchers were adamant a kill had been made, but where was it?!

AS5 & AS4

AS5 & AS4

The rest of the females were found contoured on their backs in a deep sleep near water hole two. Phyre and Kwali appeared particularly filthy as flies buzzed around their stained whiskers, but still no sign of a kill!  Nala, after eyeing up some grazing impala, eventually got up and started walking away.  We followed in the hope she would lead us to the carcass but she merely walked to waterhole one rolled onto the warm sand by Ashanti. Fortunately though our researcher heard the growls and grunts of some irritable cubs feeding. We repositioned around the water hole again and finally found what we were looking for, a lovely mangled zebra kill! All the cubs clambered over the little remains whilst Milo slept close by. This is the second zebra kill found in this area of Maasai Mara in 4 days. As the release site becomes drier and drier the game are beginning to loiter around the three water holes more often; much to the pride's delight as they lay in wait amongst the reeds.

On the 15th the Ngamo cubs were subjected to a lot of wind, and this time it wasn't coming from dad.  All the pride lay sound asleep, again by water hole two, in the midday heat. The cubs had taken to the shade of a small mopane bush amongst the sandy pan of the area when suddenly, from out of nowhere a gale force wind blew through the group and a fierce dust devil rampaged out of the grass and straight towards the cubs. The cubs sprinted as fast as they could as the dust devil shook the bush like a maraca, nearly picking up little AS4 in the process. The adults, startled by the sudden commotion quickly rounded up the frightened cubs.  Kwali sprung into action and chased the whirlwind away, canines bared and ready for battle.

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