It’s been a slightly quiet on the cat front in Djuma, however we were treated to sightings of all three large cat species!
The ever-peripatetic cheetah family crossed over from the west, pondering the possibility of a meal on Djuma. The cubs cajoled and frolicked while mom kept a watchful eye. Unfortunately meals seemed hard to come by so the family ambled back west towards the setting sun.
With the constant male lion drama in the northern Sabi Sand at the moment, you never know which pride you might encounter and where!
The Torchwood Pride where found on central Djuma: looking like they had had some success during the night. However slightly full bellies and the nerves of being in slightly unfamiliar country saw them move quickly back to the north and into more familiar territory.
The Styx Pride was found on Torchwood, regrettably they still have not managed to completely recover from their ever-present nemesis, mange. Fortunately a late rainy season has aided them in fighting the constant scourge and they are looking far better than they were at this stage of the dry season last year. The cubs were wonderfully rambunctious, scampering up trees, stalking and ambushing each other. There was a hopeful moment when a giraffe was spotted in the distance, but the giraffe with his elongated neck and superb eyesight spotted the lions long before they posed any danger.
Definitely one of the more curious looking leopards around, Hukumuri, was found just as he extinguished the last breath from an ill-fated young warthog. Once the struggle ceased he dragged the now lifeless pig to the shelter of a nearby thicket. Exhausted after the exertion of the hunt, he rested knowing that his bacon breakfast was in easy reach.
The big cat mecca that is the Mara Triangle Conservancy continued to produce some wonderful sightings and interesting behaviour!
Kakenya has moved her den from the small-unnamed inselberg to the massive Myles Turner Hill on the Tanzanian border (Named after the first warden of the Serengeti National park who is buried on the hill, overlooking his beloved Serengeti) making her slightly harder to keep a close eye on. She has been seen hunting to the north and west of Miles Turner Hill with no success since the large Thomson’s gazelle she caught a week ago. This doesn’t mean she hasn’t eaten, but has probably been surviving on scrub hares and other small prey.
The Mugoro Pride have been having a slightly hard time of it this week. The North Clan of hyenas has been a constant nuisance robbing them of at least 2 kills. With the Musketeer male lion coalition elsewhere at the moment and the pride consisting of only three females, times are tough for the Mugoros.
The Sausage Tree Pride proved difficult to find early in the week but from Tuesday we were able to work out their movements and were spoiled with them everyday for the rest of the week. This is where it gets interesting! On Thursday the whole pride was resting in the long grass to the south of Mlima Mbili (the two hills) with the older of the two young boys mating with a female and the rest of the pride doing absolutely nothing apart from rolling over every now and then. On Friday morning marauders from the south moved into the area! Two large male lions from around the Purungat bridge, this caused a scattering of the sausages! We were only able to find the young mating pair on Friday.
On Saturday morning further to the south than we had ever found them, we discovered the kinky-tailed female, the split-nosed female and the second young male. They were contact calling and searching for the rest of the pride; we followed them for over five kilometres as they searched. Hopefully this week we will be able to find the rest of the pride and hopefully the little cub has survived the tumultuous week.
Written By: Brent Leo-Smith