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Bēhance

When two Prides meet...

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  • When two prides meet...
     
    An African encounter for a journey like no other...
     
    It was a hot afternoon and we had spotted the "Mazpeko" pride from the lodge. We knew they had a buffalo kill somewhere in the bushes and they were now relaxing by the river.  We decided to go have a look closer...
     
    The Mazpeko pride consists of 4 lionesses and 4 male youngsters about to be kicked out by the two dominant males controlling the three prides of the area.
     
    Once we reached the pride we took a few shots and were happy to let them enjoy their relaxed afternoon. We had heard of a "new" pride in the area consisting of 2 adult lionesses, 2 youngsters and 2 three months old cubs. We aimed to try to find them.
    It was with great surprise and happiness that we found them not far away from the buffalo kill, a mere kilometer away. Seeing lion cubs is always a special treat, they are as cute as can be !
    The new pride moved in to the shade of nearby shrubs and just laid there to cool off from the heat.
     
    After a few minutes we noticed the mother paying a special attention to where the Mazpeko pride was. She then got up and decided to investigate. Soon enough the little cubs followed their mom and then the big sister too and lastly the youngsters. They all went in the bushes where the buffalo kill was. We decided to go back to see the Mazpeko pride and see what they would do. When we arrived by the river they were still relaxed and then a female decided to go back to the kill. It was really quiet. Spooky quiet...
     
    Then suddenly chaos broke out, we heard very loud roars and what seemed to be an intense fight. We then proceeded to the other side of  the bushes where the 'new' pride had gone in. We saw lions running in every directions. The calls were so loud and violent. The new pride was quickly outnumbered and were chased off very rapidly. No signs of the cubs...    They then decided to go back to look for them: another fight broke out and eventually they had to wonder off... without the cubs...
     
    We were shocked, thrilled, excited and afraid for the fate of the little ones. We were very intrigued by the decision of the mother to go in on the kill of another pride, it felt like a will of sacrifice...
     
    We eventually drove off with the mother heading to toward the setting sun to meet the rest of her pride all expecting the little ones, but with no luck. We were very sad and had to leave the Park as it was soon dark.
     
     
    (see the end of the story at the bottom of the page)
  • The Mazpeko pride relaxing by the river in front of the Khwai River Lodge
  • Mazpeko lionesses
  • The "new " pride moves in...
  • One of the youngster from the new pride
  • Suckling cub
  • The new pride's cubs
  • The mother
  • Cubs acting like cubs
  • Being disciplined...
  • Following mummy...
  • Lioness from the Mazpeko pride goes back to the kill
  • Young males intrigued about something
  • Too late, the fight already started, the new pride is outnumbered and already  chased away...
  • Eyes of determination
  • Mazpeko lioness making sure the intruders go away
  • Successful, but with crazy eyes...
  • The big sister from the new pride comes, she does not want to give up on the cubs. See the emotion in her eyes. a cry of anger and dispair...
  • Crazy eyed young male ready and willing to fight
  • The big sister has to give up, the Mazpeko pride is just too many for her, she is resigned to escape...
  • The young males are determined and will not allow  any intruder...
  • The mother is resigned to leave the fate of her cubs in the hand of nature...
  • We were all shocked: we did not know if the cubs had enough time to hide or if they were killed on the spot... It was very sad to see the mother head back to her pride without them...
     
     
    24 hours later we went back, and after three hours of driving we came upon the new pride. Still no sign of the cubs... And then we saw movement in the tall grass, and the cute little faces showed up ! We were absolutely delighted ! they were lucky this time ! I believe the mother has learnt a valuable lesson...
     
     
     
     
     
    All pictures taken in the Moremi National Park, Botswana, while based in Khwai River Lodge by Orient Express Safaris.
     
    All pictures copyrighted by Isbjorn Viot ( Okaroo)
     
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