A few days ago we received a report from Lion Guardian Timoine who works in northern Olgululi, not far from Amboseli National Park. He had found the tracks of 2 female lions and 5 cubs! In the past we had heard similar reports from Lion Guardian Parkesian, who is in the neighbouring zone to Timoine, but had never been able to find these lions before. Were there some new lions that we did not know? We were very eager to find out!
We rushed to the area, picking Timoine up from his boma along the way, and arriving at dusk. Luckily we had some bait to attract the lions, and as night fell we dragged it around the area to create a scent trail, before tying it to a tree. Then, knowing that these lions were very skittish and cautious we drove quite a distance away and waited.
We played the sounds of a dying wildebeest from loud speakers to call the lions in, and without much hope we waited in silence in the dark. Suddenly, we all jumped! There was a very big female lioness walking right by the car! She noticed us and ran away, but after calling her in a few more times, she returned and started to eat the meat! Here she is!
We waited, really hoping that she would bring the cubs out from wherever they were hiding, and after a few minutes she walked off, making calling sounds! We couldn’t believe our luck – we were going to see the cubs too! After a while we saw mum heading back to the meat, followed closely by another adult female, and 5 cubs, which looked about 6-8 months old! Here are 4 of the 5 cubs.
Luckily they settled down and didn’t seem to mind our spotlight, and we were able to watch the cubs playing, and take photographs to identify the individuals (4 males and 1 female). The cubs got braver and braver, coming very close to the car at some points and sitting down to watch us, before mum called them back. They even started to relax.
After close inspection of the photographs we had taken and those in our database, we discovered that the very large adult female that we had seen was known to the project and had been spotted before. But the other female and the 5 cubs are new lions, increasing our population total! Very good news! Well done Timoine for finding them!