A Birthday Fit for a King
December 13 2012

Milo

The 7th was a royal occasion as Milo, the pride’s magnificent male, turned 10 years old.  The King of Ngamo began his special day in the grasslands of the Serengeti East area of the Ngamo release site together with his lionesses and cubs.  There they spent the morning lazing in the sunshine. 

By the afternoon the pride had relocated, but not every lion was asleep!  AT1 and Phyre started to wander and were soon near to waterhole 1.   It wasn’t long before they found what they were looking for as a herd of zebra came into view.  AT1 and Phyre began to watch intently, and soon the rest of the pride were alert to the opportunity.  The pride began to take up their positions; Kenge moving far to the right, AT1 and Phyre covering the middle ground and Kwali taking a central position, now leading the hunt.  As our research team sat watching intensely Kwali neared the zebra, as she closed in the herd they began to run.  Kwali picked up her pace and chased at high speed.  Unfortunately the zebra managed to evade their hunter and they soon disappeared out of sight. 

But the action was far from over.  A small herd of wildebeest, that had obviously been disturbed from their grazing by the fleeing zebra, scattered and ran right into the path of the still stalking pride.  There was a flurry of movement as lions darted in different directions amongst the dispersed wildebeest herd.  Ashanti seized an opportunity and gave chase to one wildebeest that had been seperated from the others, grasping it in her claws for a just a second before it managed to escape.  

Phyre and Narnia however had selected an alternative target and were working together to bring success.  As Phyre clutched tightly to the wildebeest Narnia jumped on its back and the pair forcefully brought it to the ground.  The rest of the girls instantly rushed over to feed and, after a few moments of watching the lions tuck in, our research team performed a head count only to find just 10 present. 

The Ngamo pride

Where were Kenge and the birthday boy?  The team left the girls and their cubs enjoying supper and made their way back towards the waterhole estimating the route the wildebeest had taken upon scattering.  And there they were: Milo and Kenge on a second wildebeest kill!  Although our team had missed this kill it was Kenge who was suspected to be the executioner with Milo joining her to dine some moments later.  And as the happy pride continued with their spoils into the evening, Milo ended his special day sharing a meal with one of his favourite girls as the sun set over Ngamo.  

Milo

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