New Kids On the Block and Marley’s Family

Friday, June 5, 2009

Posted by Sara Blackburn at 4:19 PM

Since coming back to camp, I’ve been trying to track down the locals. Whilst most of our familiar faces are keeping themselves hidden, there’s certainly no lack of lions!
First to meet were two lovely lionesses with their two cubs. Christened Joy and Siena, they were relaxing in Kichwa Tembo close to some rather curious giraffe. These girls are actually part of the Three Graces, a sub-pride of the Marsh Pride, and not resident to the area. Things got heated when Siena tried her luck at some nearby zebra. Joy left the kids in the bush and crept round to ambush the prey whilst Siena snuck up with such determination that a Grant’s gazelle wandered past ignored. She sprinted and got within a whisker’s reach of a large mare, but couldn’t bring it down. maybe next time.

Joy keeps her eye on the prize

Nearby in Maternity, we found one familiar face – Marley, one of the three young males. You might remember him from earlier this year when he caused trouble with Asali and her cubs. This time he seemed to be getting along with the other lions, and had attached himself to a mature lioness with four adolescent cubs.We've called her Kioni, which means 'she who sees'.

marley's family Marley watches the kids

I saw the pair of females yesterday again trying to hunt, and we left them again stalking some zebra as the light dropped, but Marley and co. had moved on.
And that’s not the last of it – this morning, Caesar appeared close to camp again, mating with Siena. He’s a beautiful lion, and seems to have his pick of the ladies! Except for younger lions such as Marley, Caesar is the only resident male around the River Pride area, and until the younger boys mature, should father many new cubs.

One of the new cubs – similar in age to Asali's.

I have to work hard to find the location of our known lions, and one lioness I am missing the most is Asali and her two cubs. They should be almost 5 months by now. I haven’t found her sisters Mandisa and Tailend either. The last time Asali was seen was close to Musiara Gate leading into the reserve. As we have many new lions around the River Pride area, I will most probably have to look further afield. I’ll let you know when I find her.