Recently, I responded to Lion Guardian Parkisian’s report of 4 lions (see Lion Guardians stop lions in their tracks!). When we found Nempakai and the others feeding on the freshly killed zebra, we observed a sight which is not unusual for us to see – the large female went first for the zebra’s ears. She was very protective and intent on getting the ears first and not letting any other lion (Nempakai or the cubs) interfere. Here she is threatening the cub who is interested in helping her eat the ear (note her laid back ears – we could hear her growling and she even swiped at Nempakai when she came too close!):
We’ve noticed on almost all the lion kills we’ve found that the ears are missing, even if there is still tasty meat left on the hindquarters. We’re not sure why they seem to prefer to eat the ears first. As the Living with Lions director Laurence Frank put it “maybe they just like the taste of ear wax”
Last month we downloaded the GPS collars of the females Nosieki and Selenkay. It was very interesting to see how their movements differed. Selenkay roamed widely while Nosieki stuck to one area which is far from any homesteads, roads, or other establishments. This is probably because she still has little ones in tow. Here is a map of Nosieki’s movements:
And a current picture of Nosieki’s male cub:
While here is Selenkay’s map:
As you can see, Selenkay covered a much larger distance. She went right up to Mbirikani town, a place of many people and stores. Also, when she went to the main road at and north of Mbirikani town she did not cross it but she did cross the big road in the southern part of Mbirikani group ranch. This is very interesting because the road at and north of Mbirikani town is now a tarmacked road while in the southern part of the ranch, the road has yet to be tarmacked.
Maybe Selenkay feels more comfortable crossing dirt roads than tarmacked roads?