As December, the month of festivities and eating too much, arrived in Ngamo, the pride too have been over-indulging with a spate of hunts. The 1st was a hot day and as the sun sizzled over Ngamo the pride lazed around Waterhole 3 where they remained for the whole day. In the late afternoon, as the lions continued in their slumber, a small herd of wildebeest were meandering through the area, unsuspecting of the twelve lions ahead of them. As the wildebeest neared the pride's position the lions became aware that they had company and awoke quickly from their naps, heads popping up one by one. On catching sight of the danger ahead the wildebeest turned quickly towards some thickets and were soon out of view of our research team. Phyre, Kenge, Kwali, Nala and AT1 jumped straight to their paws and they too disappeared out of view with a flurry of tawny coats and tails darting amongst the trees. Moments later the unmistakeable sound of a successful catch was heard as the lions growled excitedly over their soon to be supper.
On arrival into the site the following morning our research team met Ashanti, Phyre, KE3, KE4 and AS5 who were all strolling towards Waterhole 2. As they arrived they were united with Narnia who was already there taking a morning drink. The girls and the cubs took rest at the waterhole and as the sun began to warm the ground they relaxed as the rest of the pride gradually joined them. It wasn’t long before their attention was disturbed and Ashanti, Phyre and Kenge were soon alerted to a herd of zebra close by. There were a few tense moments as Kenge crouched, hiding behind a bush as one zebra separated itself from the herd, coming within metres of her. Phyre, who has been playing a much more active role in hunting in recent times, was up next and as the zebra began to move away she stalked alongside the waterhole with AT1 following not too far behind her. With their bellies still full from yesterday’s feast though stalking and hiding was all the lions would be doing that morning as the herd slowly moved away under the watchful gaze of the girls.
It was on the 4th however that Phyre’s increasing passion for hunting was fully observed. In the afternoon, as a herd of zebra passed through Treetops whilst the pride basked in the sun, she single-handedly brought down a zebra. As the herd neared she took up her position in a thicket and as they passed by she seized her chance and sprung from her hiding place bringing the zebra to the ground. Our research team approached to find her clenching the zebra in a perfect throat-hold position, now also accompanied by Milo who was assisting with its demise. With the thrill of hunting seemingly becoming a favourite pastime of Phyre’s we can expect to see a lot more action from the fiery alpha female in the coming months.