Kenge & Kwali go in search of lunch
April 17 2013

Kwali

On 10th April only one member of the pride revealed themselves from the long grasses of Ngamo.  During the heat of midday a lone Kwali (above) was spotted making her way in the direction of waterhole three.  Her pace alternated between a fast walk and a trot.  Was Kwali particularly thirsty or was there some other reason for this unexpected level of activity at the hottest time of the day?

As Kwali continued through the Etosha area of the site the research team caught only glimpses of her in gaps between the dense foliage, and as she approached the waterhole an indication of what may be motivating her was spotted.  Circling above the waterhole were vultures, some of which were in the trees around the waterhole.  

vultures

Since their release the pride has been provided the occasional scavenge feed - a carcass placed far from the pride and without their knowledge so that they can discover it.  Through this process the pride have become adept at watching vultures for signs that food may be available.  Some wild lions rely on scavenging carcasses for over 80% of their meat intake, and so learning this skill is vital for their survival.

Kwali approached the waterhole sending the vultures back into the sky.  She searched around the area, sniffing for signs of food.  On this occasion however we had not placed a scavenge, the vultures providing a false signal to Kwali.  Kwali settled for a drink before dissappearing back into the grasses of Ngamo and out of sight.

AS4 and AS5

AS4 & AS5

On the morning of the 14th we joined the Ngamo pride lounging in the Amboseli area. After observing 11 pride members the research team ventured to find the 12th member; Kenge. On the other side of the thick acacia scrub Kenge was found ambling along Water Road when her attention was caught by the alarm calls of a concerned impala.  Kenge quickly took advantage of the long grass to quietly flank around the impala. At this point the research team decided to reposition back with the pride and out of the way of Kenge’s intentions.

It seemed the pride had also heard the echoing alarm calls of the impala and Kenge's daughter KE4 decided to get involved in the hunt. Visual was lost of mother and daughter but shortly after KE4 returned to the vigilant pride with a very playful Kenge ankle tapping her from her behind. This playfulness soon rubbed off on the others.  AT1 gave her worst to a tree branch whilst AS5 practiced his throat holding skills on sister AS4.

AT1

AT1

Unfortunately for AS5, Narnia was perhaps more interested in asserting some dominance; a rare moment for her as a lower ranking female. Out of nowhere Narnia ferociously charged AS5 sending the little prince scurrying away submissively.  Although still a cub, as AS5 matures into a young male he may become the target of such out-bursts more often.  Despite this brief upset the pride headed off North into the Camp area, bouncing off each other, all misunderstandings forgotten. 

AS5 bows his head in submission to Narnia

AS5

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