Category Archives: Meet the lions

The burden of cubs and roads

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:

Nos Oct Map

And a current picture of Nosieki’s male cub:

Nosieki’s male cub


While here is Selenkay’s map:

Sel Oct 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?

A stubborn girl in her teens!

The second lioness to be collared in Eselenkei Group Ranch was Selenkay. Selenkei is a Maasai name for a ‘stubborn girl in her teens’. During her collaring, Selenkay captivated our Lion Guardian team with her beauty, and calm and peaceful nature.

selenkay.jpg 

Considered a member of the Tara pride, Selenkay seems the most adventurous member of this pride and has completely baffled our team with her movement patterns. She frequents Amboseli National Park as well as spending a majority of time on the border of three Group Ranches (Eselenkei, Olgulului and Mbirikani).

Her most distinctive feature is the dark brown coloration in her right eye, as well as the distinct darker color and spots which marks many members of the Tara pride. Here you can see the dark patch in her right eye. We don’t think there are any signs that she is blind in this eye.

selenkays-eye.jpg

She who comes first…

Nasieku is the beautiful yellowish female lioness of the Tara pride, with broad shoulders. She is definitely the most aggressive member of the pride. She was named Nasieku, a Maasai name meaning “She who comes first”, because of the frequency in which she charges at our Lion Guardians!

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With a beautiful spotted pattern which is the trade mark of this pride, Nasieku has three striking cubs who are about 7-8 months of age – 2 males and 1 female. Here she is, looking aggressive with her cubs, as usual!

nasieku-and-cubs.jpg

A stunning male lion

The most beautiful, admirable and valuable member of the Tara pride is unmistakable – an iconic male African lion with a thick ruff of yellow long hair around his face and neck with masses of black hair covering his chest and back. He is the most secretive, elusive and shrewdest lion to ever live in Eselenkei Group Ranch. In fact, stories abound about the amount of luck that this lion has enjoyed over the last few years. This luck is still shrouded in mystery.

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Named Lomunyak (a Maasai name for ‘he who is lucky’) by our Lion Guardian team, he has escaped no less than three Maasai warriors’ lion hunting parties in the past. Being a symbol of power, courage and nobility, Lomunyak seemingly enjoys patrolling his territory and protecting the Tara pride while assisting Nosieki on her frequent hunting attempts to ensure a permanent flow of kills for the pride members to feed on. It’s therefore no wonder that members of this pride are extremely healthy.

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Anyone coming close to this pride is guaranteed to be magnetically drawn towards Lomunyak. He seems to thrive on drawing attention to himself while keeping a safe distance to observe what goes on around the pride. As a threatened species, lions in the greater Amboseli ecosystem, as in the rest of the country, need to be carefully conserved, in order to ensure their long-term survival. Please help us to continue with our research and protection of the lions of the Tara pride by making a donation. Thank you for your support.

Meet female collared lion Nosieki

Nosieki was the first lioness to be collared on Eselenkei Group Ranch. She is a resident lioness in this Group Ranch and several people can attest to her presence in the area over the years as she is very distinct due to her lack of a tail tip, long figure, and many spots.

nosieki.jpg

Deriving her name from the place she was collared (Osieki – the Maasai name for a bush which has beautiful red berries), Nosieki gave birth to two beautiful cubs in May of this year; a darker colored female cub who loves to chew on trees and harass her father, Lomunyak, and a jovial male cub that has already earned a reputation of being the first to eat from any kill…. signs of a promising future! Here is her little female cub playing in a tree.

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Nosieki is the more composed and peaceful member of the Tara pride as well as being the best hunter.