Still her mother's daughter
October 14 2013

The sunny morning of the 11th of October and the Ngamo pride was located in the Hwange area of the release site.  With dominant male Milo and Nala absent, the pride was spread out in all directions keeping an eye out for any potential meals that may be passing by.  After a short while Kenge spotted something in the distance and briskly rose to her feet.  Watched on by the others she steadily made her way up the hill. After pausing to give the area a once over, her pace suddenly picked up speed. Spotted up a head were circling crows, as Kenge’s brisk walk turned into a jog.  Soon Ashanti, Kwali, KE4 also rose to their paws and jogged after the determined female, whilst AT1 and AS5 followed more slowly.  Once the research team had caught up (by having to take a less direct route around the release site's road system than the lions could take), sub adults AS4 and AS5 were snacking on some left over bones from a recent kill, with Kenge constantly chasing any nearby crows away from the area.

After a brief break the pride moved off towards the Valley and into the thicket.  As the day began to warm up they moved under the dappled shade of a msasa tree. AS4 exchanged a warm greeting with mother Ashanti before settling next to her. Ashanti began grooming her ever growing daughter. Once settled, Nala could be seen slowly meandering her way through the thicket towards the others.

Ashanti grooms her daughter AS4

Ashanti & AS4

Soon the tell-tale grunts of an impala alarm call could be heard nearby. The pride, now alerted to a potential meal, quickly rose to their paws. Kwali, the first to move off, headed left of the pair of impala standing in an open grassland area. Her young nieces, KE3 and KE4 quickly followed as the rest of the pride flanked right to join Nala using the long golden grass to their advantage. The impala caught the lions' scent on the wind and, alerted to the imminent threat nearby, swiftly moved off towards Route 66. Kwali followed behind the pair, concealed by an ant hill, and the chase began.  She could be seen close behind the impala but soon the speed had the better of the determined female and the impala could sbe een fleeing into the thicket of Tree Tops and out of sight. After a short while Kwali wandered back to her pride before they all settled in the deep shade of the trees in the Valley as the October sun radiated over the release site.  

Kwali

Kwali

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