Fit to burst: the Dambwa pride are flourishing in their release site

23 09 2011

The L sisters were in Kariba this morning (22nd September) keeping the remains of a wildebeest company which, judging by the state of it, had been killed only a few hours earlier.  Whilst Leya sat a couple of metres away looking rather uncomfortable, Loma continued to work on what little meat was left of the carcass.

Kwandi’s signal led us a few hundred metres away towards water pan 1; there we found her panting for all she was worth in a bush, clearly having recently been at the kill and fed to near capacity. We left her to her heavy breathing and, arriving at water pan 3, we found Kela beached in the sand around the pan.

Rusha and Temi were finally tracked down to Bwizu; not far from water pan 2. The blood on their coats and stomach sizes suggested they too had fed from the latest kill; but not for as long as the elder KLs, and they were clearly still having food for thought.

As they intently watched a herd of zebra and wildebeest Temi’s tail flicked incessantly. The area was too open for her to try an approach, but when the oblivious prey moved off to continue their grazing elsewhere, she was immediately up on her feet and blazing a trail in their tracks. Rusha didn’t look as keen to move, but eventually followed Temi. Being about 60m behind her pride mate, as they moved through the long grass on the borders of Chobe and Sahara.  Rusha became separated and let out a pitiful series of moans as she wandered back and forth between the two areas.  Her calls eventually brought Temi back from the hunt and the pair settled under a bush to hide from the strengthening sun for the rest of the day.

By this time the KLs had all wobbled their way to pan 1 to meet up and were in various states of repose trying to squeeze into the shrinking shade. Kwandi eventually led a move to water pan 3 where the group hauled up for the morning. Despite eating enough to sink a ship, when Leya spotted a herd of seven puku during the mid-morning ambling past the pan she shifted herself into an alert position to watch as they came as close as 40m before spotting the lions. For 20 minutes her eyes remained glued to the herd, but – unsurprisingly – she couldn’t quite muster the energy to do anything about them.  And there they remained for the rest of the day.

 

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