The Long and Winding Road

18 12 2011

To say that the lions had the wind up their tails this morning would be the understatement of the century. Everyone but Temi was at water pan 1 first thing this morning and the continued cool weather combined with the still rather high spirits from Zulu’s recent arrival meant the girls were in flying form.

Stalking, chasing and jumping on one another as they tore along and through the water pan, we had to move the research vehicle a number of times as on occasion their chasing led them a bit too close for comfort. Meanwhile, the designated adult of the group – Zulu – watched on with barely concealed lethargy.

Despite these picturesque scenes we decided to leave the group and search out Temi; about three-quarters of the way further down the site we eventually picked up her signal in Sahara. With wavering strength of signal it suggested she was on the move and in the pot-hole filled area we weren’t risking driving through 6 ft high grass to find her.

Heading back to the others we found they too were looking for a change of scene. Still acting like a group of maniacs the girls were leading Zulu through Puku Dambo and continued at an impressive clip towards water pan 2. We were keeping our fingers crossed that they would stop at the pan and give us a break from trying to pick them out from amongst the vegetation – but no, the march continued with all heads turned North.

Preparing ourselves to watch a hunt, it turned out it was not prey that had caught their attention but Temi who had made her way through Sahara since we had left her and into Bwizu. She approached cautiously – mainly because a towering Zulu was in her way (Temi is dwarfed by the other females in the pride, and next to Zulu looks practically cub-sized) – but keeping a wary distance she joined in the parade and headed back the way in which she came from.

But we were closely coming up on Sahara, and as mentioned before it’s a bit of a dicey area to drive through but we could make out the direction they were heading so drove round to the Lusaka Road to wait for them to hopefully emerge. But 20 minutes later we were still waiting. All of their signals were very close – likely no more than 50m away, but it was clear they were no longer moving.

It appears the morning walk must have continued after our departure from the first session as by the time we came back at mid-morning all seven signals were stubbornly staying put in the Acacia boundary and out of sight.

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One response

18 12 2011
Jan Caire

What a handsome bunch, I mean Pride! I wonder how much Leya and Zulu remember of their walking time together.
Merry Christmas to all the lions and lion researchers, and handlers.
Jan

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