Little Lion Man Lost
December 31 2012

As the festive season fell upon Ngamo, the 24th began with the pride all resting together in the Masai Mara area of the site.  They remained there for the whole morning, but by midday their yuletide naps were disturbed as a herd of zebra passed by.  AT1 was the first to notice the pride’s unexpected company and she soon took to her paws and began to move off following in the direction of the zebra.  Phyre, Kwali and the rest of the pride also began to follow AT1 and the herd, but it wasn’t long before the lions were left roaming alone with the zebra moving out of sight, and they all took up rest once more in the shade of Serengeti West. 

In the evening our research team returned to the same area only to find Milo and a rather anxious looking AS5.  It appeared that the females, including mum Ashanti, had once again been on the move and AS5 had obviously chosen not to follow them at the time.  The young male restlessly wandered around the area, sniffing the ground and calling to his pride members, whilst dad Milo simply gazed around his territory seemingly unfazed by his fretting son. 

AS5 searches for his mum and the rest of the pride

AS5 searches

Getting himself lost seems to be coming a bit of a habit of AS5’s recently and there have been a number of occasions where he has failed to follow the group only to have to search for them later.  But each time the little lion manages to get himself lost the moment he finally finds his family is a pleasure to behold as he rushes to them excitedly, being met with a flurry of greetings and play bouts as the pride welcome him back from his misadventure.  

Reunited - AT1 and KE3 welcome back the wandering AS5

Reunited - AS5 AT1 KE3

The next day, the 25th, young KE3 made Christmas Day a very special occasion indeed.  As the sun began to rise the pride saw the morning in by lazing near Waterhole 2.  Again a small group of zebra approached the waterhole, but this time it was AS5 and KE3 who were most interested in their visitors and the pair sat upright watching as the zebra neared.  Without any hesitation, KE3 stood up and she began to stalk towards the zebra alone.  After a few tense moments of watching her near her prey she bolted into a chase and charged towards the zebra sending them running away quickly from the enthusiastic cub.  Although KE3 was unsuccessful this time her attempts will do her well as she practices her hunting skills for the future.

KE3 chases zebra

KE3 chases zebra

The past two days have shown us the differences between the two pairs of cubs born just a month apart.  It is well known that the females of a pride will be responsible for the majority of the hunting and recent events have highlighted such a fact.  KE3 is beginning to develop her hunting instincts while her half-brother AS5 is emulating Dad’s usual behaviour, taking a back seat and resting for as long as he can.  Only time will tell if the young prince will begin to take a more active part in helping the girls as they hunt for their meals.  

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