MARA LION DIARY

Lioness On A Wildebeest Kill

September 14, 2017

On our morning drive we passed the location where we saw the lioness on the wildebeest carcass last night. The lioness was still on the carcass and it was clear that no one else interrupted her throughout the night as the vast majority of the carcass was left and the stomach was still badly bloated as the gasses expanded overnight.

 

Our guide Joseph explained that he believed this lioness to be pregnant as her teats had started to become a lot more noticeable. This could also explain her solitary behaviour and not alerting her presence to the lions we heard roaring nearby last night. Joseph also explained that this would be her second litter as her first litter had been killed by the Rekero males earlier this year. Her belly was full of all of the wildebeest meat she had gorged out overnight and she appeared extremely content while we watched her and even started to roll around in front of us. Very quickly though she went back into her sleepy state and her head started to slump back down as her eyes began to look in the direction of the grass as they started to close.

 

Our guide Joseph explained that he believed this lioness to be pregnant as her teats had started to become a lot more noticeable. This could also explain her solitary behaviour and not alerting her presence to the lions we heard roaring nearby last night. Joseph also explained that this would be her second litter as her first litter had been killed by the Rekero males earlier this year. The Rekero males have a fierce reputation in the area and have killed at least one if not two litters of the cubs they have sired in Naboisho, which will be included in more detail in another post. Due to the behaviour already witnessed from the males, this could be another reason for her solitary behaviour. He was hopeful that with the good behaviours seen from the males towards cubs in the area that this would be an end of their infanticide and that their determination to not let any other males sire in their territory had been realised over the first year of their reign.

 

By using the identification sheets that had been provided by the Mara Lion Project to the volunteering project that I was staying with allowed me to try and work out who this girl was. After finding what I believed to be her most noticeable feature I identified her as 'Akilah' and that she would have been born in March 2012 and was part of the Enesikiria Pride. Her most noticeable feature was a series of three ear notches on her right ear which you can see in the picture to your left. Other features used by conservationists and guides to identify the lions are whisker spots as well as easily seen scars or notches. At five years old she would be in her prime and fully mature. In Naboisho lionesses would be lucky to reach an age between 10-14 with the male life expectancy being a lot lower. We left Akilah to her morning sleep and we kept searching for wildlife in the Conservancy.

 

 

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