Despite the fact that one Moran was badly injured by our collared lioness Selenkay recently, lions in Mbirikani Group Ranch are doing very well. Yesterday, Lion Guardian Kapande reported picking up the signal of Nemaoi close by. As he was traveling to our rendezvous point , he bumped into a maned male lion. He retreated and summoned us to that particular place instead. We were eager to see who the big maned individual was. After we met Kapande at the whistling thorns, it was not long before we reached Namalilo, where the lion was. As we approached the tree where the lion was resting, we saw a raised head and then another. It was clear that there were two big lions. On closer inspection, we found out that they were Kasaiyo and Lormanie. Kasaiyo seemed very handsome and healthy and looked to have experienced a recent growth spurt. Lormanie was as cool as always and seems to care less about our presence. The two lions were a joy to watch as their health portrays an invincible pair that has food in plenty. Our visitor, a fellow lion researcher from Tanzania, was very happy to have seen the boys, and off we went to look for Nemaoi.
After tracking for about 20 minutes, we found her with her two cubs inside a thicket. This is a massive lioness that has earned the respect of the members of Mbirikani because in the area she inhabits, she has never killed livestock. She has a developed a particular soft spot for ostriches and elands and seems to have mastered the art of bringing them down regularly. She ranks amongst the biggest females within the Amboseli ecosystem and is always at ease with our team. The year old cubs meanwhile are a joy to watch and are particularly afond of the playful male cub that seems happy at all times of the day even when other lions are lazing about.
And a few days ago we also saw Birdie and her three sub-adult offspring – one male and two females – all looking very healthy. This sighting filled my heart with joy, as we have been hearing the pride’s roars and finding their tracks often but had not yet had a good opportunity to spend some time with them.