A few days ago Lion Guardian Parkesian from Olgulului reported that he had seen 4 lions earlier that day – two adults and two cubs. When we got to Parkesian’s area, the sun was already going down so we hurried to the place he had spotted them.
We got the signal of Nempakai, an older lioness who’s been collared and known to our project for quite some time, though in the past year she has chosen to primarily live inside Amboseli National Park. Recently though, we’ve found her leaving the park, possibly in search of a good place to have her cubs as she was seen to be quite heavily pregnant early in November. Here she is earlier in the year in Amboseli, with another female’s cub from her pride.
We followed Nempakai’s signal, and found her with another very large female and two older cubs, just like Parkesian had said. We followed them for a while, and then suddenly realized they were heading straight for a livestock enclosure (boma)! We rushed ahead of them to warn the boma inhabitants that the lions were coming towards them, and made a lot of noise, using the car horn and lights to scare them away.
They were very bold, and didn’t seem to mind the disturbance at all, but wandered a little distance away into the darkness. We rested at the boma for an hour or so, waiting to see if they would come back. They didn’t come into sight again, so we went to find them, following Nempakai’s signal into an area of fresh grass with lots of wild prey such as zebra, gazelles, and wildebeest. When we got closer we were happy to find them all enjoying a freshly killed zebra! Thank goodness they had chosen wild prey this time!
It was a good night for the Lion Guardians team – we managed to keep the lions away from the boma and avoid any nasty conflicts, and we were also very excited because it looked like Nempakai may have given birth in the past few weeks!
We’ll be keeping a close eye on her, even though she can be tough to monitor because she moves around so much, but with the Lion Guardians team spread out now over three group ranches we hope to be able to keep track of her, and will report any news we get straight to you!