A wildebeest prevented the Dambwa pride from any Halloween shenanigans as they gorged themselves until they were the size and shape of pumpkins. By the end of the day, Rusha and Temi were slumped at Pan 3 and the KLs were incapacitated in the Sanga boundary, close to the carcass.
Today (2nd) Kela, Kwandi, Leya and Loma were first found heading south across Kariba. Initially we were picking up Rusha’s signal too, but as the KLs made their way steadily across the area, Rusha’s signal steadily grew quieter and quieter. We decided to stick with the four girls and see where they were headed and catch up with Rusha and Temi later.
They made a beeline for the carcass from the 31st, which still had a bit of dry-looking meat to it. Kwandi hogged the remains initially; every once in a while she’d stop and call softly in the direction from which the foursome had arrived – presumably to Rusha and Temi but neither replied or appeared. After 20 minutes or so, Kwandi left the carcass and went to clean her paws at which point Loma took over the remains. She only ate for a moment or two before dragging it over to where Kwandi and her sister, Leya, were sitting. She first groomed Leya’s face, then greeted Kwandi and then left the carcass to go and sit with Kela a few metres away as the other pair took control back of the food.
All this was being watched by a lone hooded vulture; who was eventually joined a few trees further down by a juvenile bateleur eagle who’d been practicing its aerial skills to the right of our truck. After a few minutes the juvenile began to make a fairly noisy racket; and as Mother swooped in with a mouse clutched between her talons it was clear why. As the juvenile bateleur began to feed the hooded vulture swooped over to try and steal – but Mother B was too quick and chased the vulture off.
And then we remembered we were meant to be watching the lions…
Kela had been fairly low key for most of the session until about half way through when she led the group on a second move further into the boundary and West. Luckily there was one – narrow – road through this area that we could just about keep tabs on them from.
As they settled we went off to look for Rusha and Temi and it wasn’t until we reached Chisamu that we finally started getting a strong signal for Rusha. After much checking under various bushes we eventually caught up with her sitting in a bush on top of an anthill; calling and looking restless. At first there was no signal for Temi but after a few minutes of Rusha’s vocalising we began picking up a very weak signal from her collar.
After breakfast we found that the pair had reunited and were now both sitting on top of the sheltered anthill resting. Rusha looked a lot less agitated than when we’d seen her earlier and the pair slept on throughout the morning. The KLs also caught up on some beauty sleep, remaining in the same spot in the boundary for the remainder of the day; all that walking earlier on must have taken it out of them.