Signs of independence
September 1 2013

The afternoon of the 28th of August saw the Ngamo pride scattered amongst the shady trees of Kruger.  As the pride rested peacefully the echoing roars of dominant male Milo could be heard in the distance. Phyre, the only female to wake from her slumber, briefly glanced in that direction before flopping back down and was soon sound asleep once again.

After some time Milo emerged from the golden grass and headed towards his dozing pride. Deep in slumber, the females barely registered his arrival as he made his way through the pride, smelling all those in his path. Once again it was dominant female Phyre that acknowledged his presence and was soon on her feet. After a warm greeting the pair soon flopped down close to one another, Milo seemingly exhausted after his travels, before dozing off once again.

As the sun slowly began to set AT1 was the first awake and before long she moved over to greet father Milo before moving over to wake Phyre. After a quick greeting she playfully bit on her leg enticing her into a playful mood. AT1 rolled over and tried to encourage her dad to join. Milo, not such a willing playmate, just rolled over and went back to sleep. AT1 turned her attention to Nala who too rested nearby. As she leaned down to greet her, she seemingly startled the peaceful female, who snapped at the young pride member. With that she soon moved off, closely followed by KE3, ever vigilant to any passing meal in the distance they sat on an ant-hill and surveyed the area around them.  Soon Ashanti and Phyre rose from their slumber and moved off.  One by one the pride awoke and all moved off together as the sun slowly descended below the horizon.

KE3 & AT1

AT1 & KE3

The morning of the 29th and the pride was discovered in Amboseli feasting on the left over’s of a fresh zebra kill made the night before. Phyre, Nala and KE4 peacefully tucked into breakfast whilst the others, stomachs full to the brim, rested in the shade near by.

Soon KE4 had her fill and joined the others in the shade. Kenge, who had been near the breakfast table moved off towards her daughter. As she stood over her she suddenly swiped at her. KE4, seemingly taken by surprise by this act of dominance took a submissive position by rolling on her back.

Kenge & KE4

Kenge & KE4

Kenge once again swiped at the young lioness and KE4 rose to a seated position to defend herself and swiping back in retaliation. After a couple of snarls between mother and daughter Kenge moved off to rest near Kwali and was soon asleep. KE4 kept an eye on her slumbering mother for a while before she too settled and went to asleep as the day began to warm up.

Kenge & KE4

The cubs of Ngamo are reaching an age where they can be considered as independent members of the pride, no longer reliant on their mother's for survival.  Such dominance displays ensure that that the youngest members of the pride understand their place in the changing pride dynamics.

Once Phyre and Nala had moved off the remains of the zebra carcass Ashanti and her son AS5 wondered over to the kill to grab a final snack before they too joined their slumbering pride in the shade around cub hill, where they remained for the rest of the day. 

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