AT1 gives it her all
April 2 2012

AT1 has been a huge bundle of joy and energy over the past week or so. We’ve observed her engaging in sporadic play bouts with all her pride members in between feasting upon zebra and wildebeest.

AT1 in the long grass

AT1 in the grass

On the 29th we also began to see real glimmers of the potential huntress in AT1. We located her and some of the other Ngamo pride members moving south along Route 66 towards a large zebra herd. Nala and Kwali soon became static upon the road whilst AT1 flanked into the tall grass. Suddenly the herd fled with AT1 a few paw steps behind them giving chase. The herd, perhaps curious of the smaller lioness giving them grief, returned to the area to investigate. Phyre decided to take advantage of this curiosity and began to stalk directly towards them whilst AT1 took her own initiative and flanked left through the grass, each movement more precise than the last. Eventually the herd fled again as AT1 broke her cover.  Close, but no cigar!

Alpha female Phyre gives AT1 a good lick

Phyre grooms AT1

On the 30th our research team entered the release site before dawn in hopes of catching some hunting or even a kill on camera for our ongoing filming for a new TV series. However the pride were found dawdling by waterhole 2, all cubs bouncing around in the dark and playing with one another.

By sunrise the pride had relocated to the Etosha area and were tantalisingly close to a small herd of zebra.  As the lionesses slept AT1 again proved her initiative and began to stalk slowly towards the herd.  Suddenly the zebra bolted and split up to form a group of three, and more importantly, leaving one fleeing zebra on its own.  

As the group of three sprinted away to towards the Hwange area and into safety the separated zebra virtually stumbled over Milo who uselessly stood and gawped at the potential meal. Kwali who was sleeping nearby however turned on her paws at lightening speed but sadly a rudely placed acacia bush prevented her from charging full pelt.  Eventually all lions regrouped including AT1 looking rather disappointed that her elders had not caught the meal she had begun to stew.

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