A silent and deadly force
August 19 2012

After the zebra blood shed of the past couple of days in the Ngamo release site, our researcher was expecting the pride to spend the following days belly up digesting all they had consumed. However the pride clearly had other plans.

On the evening of the 16th, Ashanti, Kwali, Nala, Narnia, Phyre and AT1 left the Kruger region of the site (which now looks a bit like a zebra graveyard) and headed down the boundary road towards the Etosha area. Deciding to stay after dark with the pride in the hope of getting some good footage for the Animal Planet documentary that is currently being filmed, the team stayed with the girls as they slowly sauntered through Etosha and on into Camp.

Now pitch black, the team lost visual of all the lionesses except Narnia and Ashanti who were standing alert and vigilant. Unable to see what the girls had spotted, the team followed at a distance as the two moved with purpose towards Route 66. As they reached the main road through the site, the two lionesses split, Ashanti turning left and Narnia turning right. The team switched off their engine and watched as Ashanti stalked along route 66. Suddenly she turned around and raced back the way she had come.   Ashanti had clearly spotted something that the team hadn’t.

Bemused at what was going on, the team followed her as she headed back to the same place that she had been just a few minutes before. As the team grew closer the figures of three other lionesses came in to view. But it wasn’t just the lions that the team spotted. On the ground was another zebra, with Kwali firmly clamped around its neck. Once again the pride had made a silent kill (to human ears anyway).

As Kwali held tight to the zebra’s neck, Nala, Narnia, Phyre and AT1 were all beginning to feed. All lions were panting heavily suggesting that they too had been involved in the hunt.

Having spotted her pride mates on the kill, Ashanti moved off but soon reappeared with all the cubs and Milo in tow. Settling down near the kill, Milo and AS5 engaged in some male bonding, with Milo grooming his son, much to the delight of the little male cub who seemed to be revelling in dad’s attention.

On arrival in to the site on the 17th, our research team headed straight to where last night's kill took place and soon found Kenge feeding on the carcass.  The pride happily spent the day cramming the remaining meat into their already bulging bellies and then sleeping.

(Top) Milo, AS4 & KE4. (Middle) The pride laze between feeding bouts. (Below) The youngest cubs snuggle with dominant female, Phyre

Milo, AS4 & KE4

Ngamo pride

Phyre, KE3, KE4, AS4, AS5

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