After not having been seen for a few months despite numerous attempts, Nimaoi was finally drawn out of the depths of the whistling thorn one night with the promise of a free lion left-over wildebeest carcass. Looking thin and fatigued, she tore into the meat with ravenous enthusiasm, too hungry to be very concerned by our presence or the spotlight, enabling perfect viewing. To our delight, her nipples were swollen and prominent – a sign she had produced her first litter of cubs and is now lactating.
We suspected she had the cubs hidden away in the rocky lava bed. Born completely helpless, cubs are often left hidden whilst the mother goes off to hunt or socialise with other pride members, sometimes even for periods of over 24 hours. Only after 4 weeks or more do cubs begin accompanying their mother.
Early January we were delighted to find Nimaoi with 3 adorable little cubs. Initially she kept them mostly hidden in the bushes so we were lucky to get a few quick glimpses, but with each subsequent visit they all became much more relaxed with the vehicle. The cubs appear to be about a month old.
Nimaoi spent many months in Kasaiyo’s company so we suspect he is the father. It will be interesting to see whether she joins up with Kasaiyo and Lormanie again once the cubs have grown a little bigger. We will monitor mother and cubs closely and keep you updated with their progress.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nosieki is the more composed and peaceful member of the Tara pride as well as being the best hunter.