Off with his head!

9 11 2011

The temperature was boiling even before we entered the site this morning, and so expectations of much action weren’t especially high. On our way through the site we encountered three nervous-looking female puku on the Lusaka Road – their jittery temperament would soon be explained.


The lions’ signals were leading us further up the road towards Chisamu and after negotiating several clumps of trees, potholes and anthills we found the pride ripping apart what was left of an adult male puku – no doubt chaperone (until very recently) to the three nervous ladies down the road.


Loma proudly carried off his head to gnaw on, while everyone else worked on the rest of the bits and pieces. Shortly after our arrival Leya moved over to keep a watchful eye on her sister and Rusha moved off completely, heading towards the Lusaka Road and out of sight.

Kwandi soon left the leg she was chewing on and went and joined Leya. After several minutes Loma eventually left the head to look for something a bit meatier and the scramble between Kwandi and Leya for it was immense. There was growling, lunging and swiping from which Kwandi emerged victorious and marched off into the bushes with a brand new set of horns.


The lions continued to change places, picking up half eaten legs and other un-savouries on their way through the tall grass before continuing to eat at a different spot around the kill site. At one point, Leya approached Kela and was met with her second reprimand from the Ks that morning, only to receive yet another from Kwandi as she tried to evade Kela… It really wasn’t Leya’s morning.


Rusha returned after her 20 minute jaunt by herself and sat down with Kela for a good grooming session. Leya came back over and meekly sat close to Temi who had stashed three of the legs for herself while everyone else had been bickering. A slightly chastised-looking Leya didn’t try her luck with either Temi or her sister Loma, who had the last remaining leg.


Eventually Kwandi emerged from the bush allowing Leya to finally get some face time with the head… which by now could have only had a few paltry scraps of meat left on it. But she returned to the group some time later and her first port of call was to give Kwandi a head rub before settling down.  The the rest of the morning was spent sleeping, grooming and vulture watching.


A game count, while showing one less puku, provided evidence that the impala are multiplying! We counted four juveniles born over the last few days and with a number of other females (both impala and puku) looking rather plump there are going to plenty of snacks, sorry, youngsters running around the site very soon.






One response

9 11 2011
Jan Caire

They seem to be such a homogenous pride – I had thought that Leya was the largest and the alpha of the group but she doesn’t seem to be. Nice to see the ‘head’ greeting photo and that the too hot weather seems to be dissipating.

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