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Stage Two Update


David Youldon

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The pride in our release site have made a number of other kills, concentrating exclusively on wildebeest at this time. They are hunting every three to four days getting a meat intake akin to a wild pride.

Having spent almost the whole of the first week together we have seen the group split up for periods of time now and then before rejoining during the second week. Athena, Nala & Narnia have all been off exploring together, and every lioness except Kenge has spent some time off on her own. This was to be expected as lion prides regularly break apart, sometimes for weeks at a time before rejoining.

The key thing is whether they get on when they are together, and the evidence thus far is yes. Kenge is the only one who does not seem to be a huge fan of the three new females in her pride tending to stick with her old pals and getting a little snarly if approached by the young guns of Nala & Narnia, but nothing serious.

Talking of Nala & Narnia, the most social of all the cats, they have been seen charging around the place, playing in the long grass and clearly enjoying their new home. They are considerably younger than the others and so a lot of play is to be expected.

The big question for us though is how Ashanti & Athena are getting along and whether there is a challenge for the role of alpha female. The two are sisters and equal in size and so this is a real possibility. Ashanti was the clear alpha female in the pride before and we are hoping that Athena will submit to this and bring her protege's Nala & Narnia into the pride social structure with her. We have seen Ashanti & Athena greet each other often, and to the same extent, however there are two key observations: Firstly, we have seen Athena bow and then lie in front of Ashanti when she approaches Athena, and secondly Ashanti is still more likely to decide when the group moves - key signs that Ashanti is retaining her position.

So all is going very well and we wait for further data and stories from the site in the continuing story of a release pride!

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