Lonesome Traveller

Monday, October 19, 2009

Posted by Sara Blackburn at 1:57 PM

Yesterday, a report came through of an unknown male lion, resting close to camp in the bush we call Military. Naturally I wanted to check this guy out, so I jumped in Suzie (my notoriously bouncy 4x4) to see if I could find him.
The lion hadn’t moved, and wasn’t in the best of condition. Lying down, his ribs were rather prominent, and when he got up to shift position the limp on his leg was somewhat obvious. I’m not really concerned though – a few good meals, and this old chap should be good as new. Clawed was in a similar state a few months ago after an injury to his jaw, but now is on top form.

frank Who’s this old boy?

At first I though that our visitor was a new lion, but on closer inspection, identified him as Badawi. He’s certainly come a long way from home, as I first found him past Mara Offbeat on the other side of the Olare Orok river. Badawi is roughly 8-9 years of age, and you can see his profile by going to www.livingwithlions.org/mara and clicking through to the green ‘ACACIA PRIDE’ area.
This morning Badawi was nowhere to be seen, and was obviously just travelling through. With Caesar on top form, and Marley holding his little pride of six, there’s no room here for an old man like Badawi. I’m not sure why he’s come all the way up here – perhaps he has been ousted from his pride by new males. There seems to be a lot of fluctuation in the Acacia Pride groups, as Offbeat have also reported that some of their cubs were killed after a takeover by two new males.

caesarsunset Caesar looks out across his territory

We’re still waiting for Silver to have her babies, too – yesterday she was looking rather round after having the spoils of both an impala and a topi kill. She was relaxing with Lilly, whilst Siti and Caesar strode out onto the plains. It looks like they’ve made up, and are quite the couple!

silverclose Silver will have her little ones soon

We’ve been out filming again too, and have found Marley’s pride on a couple of occasions. Kioni is a mean hunter, whilst Kahawa and his siblings still have a lot to learn. In a year or so, however, the two girls should have improved their hunting skills, and should be a help for their mum.

New Beginnings

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Posted by Sara Blackburn at 3:49 PM

Over the past few weeks since the death of the new cubs, Caesar has been reinforcing his new little pride. You may remember that he was attached to Marley and Kioni and her cubs, but has since had other priorities concerning his offspring.
Whilst Caesar may still associate with Marley’s pride, the Elephant Pepper females have been his main concern. With cubs over 18 months old, Silver came into season some months ago, at which point Caesar mated with her.
Despatching of Siti's new cubs has also brought her into season, and since their death, they have been seen mating together. It’s all part of the circle of life for these lions, and although it may appear traumatic for the mother, lions are frequent breeders, and in just over 3 months, Siti will have some more little ones.
It’s also time to keep a close eye on her pride mate Silver – she is looking rather heavily pregnant with a round tummy and developing teats. From my calculations, her cubs should be born in the first week of November. This time, Caesar is the father, and so should take a different view of Silver’s babies. Siti had her cubs in the open, which is unusual for new mothers – I would not be surprised if Silver disappears for a couple of weeks, to return with the patter of tiny paws.

caesar pride Caesar is a formidable pride male

So it appears that Caesar has successfully claimed the title of Pride Male. Who knows though how long he will be top cat? With plenty of maturing males in the Kicheche Pride, and some fine boys down by Acacia Valley (not to mention to Marsh Boys) he might have to fight his corner sooner rather than later…
In other news, Martin is back with his hot cameras, and so we’re off again into the night to see what we can see.
I’ll let you know how we get on.