A double celebration
October 9 2012

As the sun rose slowly over Ngamo on the 4th a very special day began as Kenge’s two beautiful cubs, KE3 and KE4, turned one year old. Their birthday started out surprisingly actively as the whole pride took an early morning stroll together through Serengeti West. After a leisurely and relaxed walk they all came to rest in Masai Mara where they spent the rest of their morning taking cover from the intense sun.  By lunchtime the pride had moved on and had taken solace in the shade at waterhole 1. As the adults and his siblings dozed through the hottest part of the day, AS5 was very much in the mood for party games and amused himself by trying to catch flies. 

The pride makes its way through Serengeti West on KE3 and KE4's birthday

On the 5th the pride rested at Cub Hill in Amboseli for the majority of the day.  During the early afternoon, as the lions slept soundly, a herd of impala slowly made their way in the direction of the comatose cats. They became aware of their predators in the near distance and sounded an alarm call, which ironically caused their predators (specifically Kwali, Kenge, Ashanti, Narnia, KE3 and AS4) to quickly sit up and show a keen interest in the antelope.  But it was too hot and after a while all the lions returned to their sunny slumber.  The impala, keeping a keen eye on the lions, slowly passed behind Milo and co., and away to a safe distance. 

The next day the pride continued to rest at Cub Hill, a current favourite spot for the lions.  And speaking of favourites, it would seem that AS4 and KE4 had a preferred game to occupy themselves; stalking birds.  But neither were successful in their attempts at catching their winged playthings. 

KE3

Over the past couple of days, in between the lions’ extended sleeping sessions, our researcher has noticed the usually reserved KE3 becoming a lot more social, initiating greeting and grooming sessions amongst her fellow pride members.  It’s not so unusual to see her head rub the lower ranking females of the group; Kwali, Nala and Narnia, who often hold the role of auntie to the younger members of the pride, but interestingly she has been eagerly approaching Phyre more often and today (7th) was spotted enjoying a rather lengthy licking session with her mum Kenge and the alpha female.  As grooming and greetings are well known to strengthen bonds between pride members it is encouraging to see that perhaps, in the week she turned one year old, KE3 is beginning to make her way to becoming a grown up and established member of the Ngamo pride. 

KE3 with mum, Kenge, and aunt Phyre

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