The new members

Grumeti · January 2019
By Peter Chatama
Field Guide

As an avid lover of lions, I am extremely excited to report that we saw a total of 89 lion sightings in January. The lion Prides were spread out across the reserve, in pursuit of the grazers who are seeking shorter grasses. The grass has grown quite substantially this month after some rain in December, giving us wonderful coverage of the reserve. We’ve observed that the Prides are still split up. Yet, we have had some new male arrivals and movement of males between Prides.

The Nyasarori Pride wasn’t seen for the first two weeks of the month and we believe that they moved into the Serengeti National Park due to the shorter grasses and concentration of grazers there.

The Butamtam Pride, on the other hand, never disappoints. We saw 13 of the pride, sleeping under a tree, moving with the shade. One sub-adult male was found sitting in the tree.

The rainy season brings with it green grass, water aplenty, and wildlife that is healthy and strong. With the migration moved on, the resident species have succumbed to the carnivores; in particular, the eland, has been a common victim to the lions. In our images we see one of the Butamtam Pride eating an eland bull, hunted around the Old School area. With three new males in the Butamtam Pride, they seem to have fuelled the hunting of eland. The collared lioness (image above) is collared by TAWIRI (Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute) for lion monitoring and tracking purposes.

We were surprised by two new male lions which were seen in the Sabora West area – these two members have never been seen before. They arrived into Sabora West Pride territory, which has lost its dominant male as he left the pride, leaving behind six females and 16 sub-adults. This means that these two new members will potentially take over the pride without fighting. These two brothers, are in top condition, no battle scars, and look very healthy. We do not currently know where they came from but we will definitely watch in anticipation to see what happens…

By Peter Chatama
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