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FIRST KILL


PHALANX
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The first time I saw an actual kill was in 1992 between the Keekorok area & the triangle of the Masai mara. The kill was made by a young Lion about three years old. It was a late October evening and the remnants of the migration were making their way towards Sand river.post-50530-0-27396900-1480429546_thumb.jpg

A pride of lions were passing through the area and had several youngsters among them. One of the young males was enjoying himself practising his stalking techniques by laying imaginary ambushes. The Wildebeest gave him a wide birth until one small group appeared to be heading straight towards him. He instinctively went into hunting mode and dropped down into the grass. We could tell by his body language he was very excited and probably a little nervous as he fidgeted as they came closer

& closer. We wondered if he had hunted before or at least assisted in a hunt as he appeared to know what he was doing. If he had hunted before, he was obviously inexperienced as he launched his attack way to early and the wildebeest split and passed either side of him which left him confused as to which group to go for.

He sat there on his haunches, obviously feeling a little embarrassed, looking towards the pride, as if to see if any of them had seen his botched attempt, and were now a little distance away. It wasn't long before he could make up for his mistake when another group of wildebeest were coming towards him. Again he instinctively went into hunting mode and moving a little to his right to align himself with the oncoming wildebeest he settled back down behind a large clump of grasses.post-50530-0-59859300-1480429692_thumb.jpg

We thought this group must have seen the other wildebeest veer off at speed, but they kept on coming straight towards the young lion. This group had a young calf with them, which made more sense, as we had thought he was taking on a lot with the other group which were all adults. I felt he was not really expecting to make a kill, it was just instinct to try, but now, I think he could see the possibility of kill with the young wildebeest being on the left side of the group, the young lions side. He was a quick learner, as he waited, and waited, and waited as the wildebeest headed straight towards him. They had not changed their course and were now only a matter of 100mts from him. There was no fidgeting this time, he was totally motionless, it was just a case of holding his nerve.

And he did, and with perfect timing he launched himself from out of the grass like a Gnu seeking missile, coming up right under the young wildebeests chin. The pair rolled as one, the group split and ran in all directions, and as they did he physically manipulated the young wildebeest to allow himself to get a firm grip on it's throat. The young wildebeest was not going quietly. They were of about the same build but the lions superior strength put things in his favour. It took the young lion a full five minutes to completely overcome his feisty adversary, and as he did his whole body language changed. You may say we imagined it, but we are sure his body language now said, "Look at me, I'm the man(lion)".post-50530-0-30627300-1480429852_thumb.jpg

The pride had moved further on and had taken no more than a token interest of his antics, but his mother had stopped when he started his games, which were now more an initiation into adulthood. I would like to think she was pleased with his efforts, but it did not show. She turned away and continued walking to join the pride who had stopped in some shade further on. We believe the pride had eaten earlier in the day as they made no attempt to come back and relieve the young lion of his prize. We drove away leaving the young lion to enjoy his first kill, and ours.post-50530-0-65445500-1480429827_thumb.jpg

The kill is all on film, so no photos, but Oh how I enjoy watching that old tape.

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Great story told in such vivid words that i felt i was there as well. Wish you could share the film though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi @@Kitsafari. You wanted to see my story on film? try this link.

 

 

It is old VHS tape so quality is not great :(

I hope you enjoy it.

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