Caesar’s new girls

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Posted by Sara Blackburn at 5:47 PM

With the River Pride girls away and Marley and Kioni being rather elusive at present, Caesar has taken the opportunity to get more acquainted with the locals at Elephant Pepper Camp. Located across the main road from the Ereyet Angopito lugga where Kioni spends most of her time, the area has a resident group of three females and their seven cubs. The cubs are around 18 months old, and so some of the females are coming into season. Last night was pretty interesting, with a huge buffalo giving the lions a hard time. The lions certainly knew when to stand down!

caesarbuffalo Caesar keeps an eye on the old brigadier

The cubs are at no risk from Caesar – new males will often kill younger cubs to encourage their mothers to mate. I did not witness their first meeting, but the girls certainly seemed to like the big male, with Silver flirting outrageously! Pride males will travel between groups when females come into season, and the Elephant Pepper pride have no resident male with them.

silver Silver seems very fond of her man!

I have seen Silver mating several times with Caesar, and the Serian guides have also reported that the other females Lilly and Siti have mated with him too. Females will often come into season around the same time, which gives their cubs the best start in life with maximum protection and strength in numbers. Although lionesses keep their cubs hidden for the first few weeks of their life, they are quickly introduced to the rest of the pride and all females work to raise the family. Most of the lionesses within the pride will be aunts or sisters of the little ones.

maleThis young male will leave his natal pride when he is around 3 years on age.

If all goes well, the cubs will be born in around 10-12 weeks. By this time the other cubs will be around 2 years old, and still reliant upon their mothers somewhat. It is likely that the young males will not be tolerated for much longer afterwards, and so may form a coalition and leave the group. The young girls will remain with their mothers or also leave to form a splinter group.