Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Stories in the South African Bush Capture Me....The 3 Young Lions

The sick buffalo's story is not the only story we've seen so far in my short 2.5 days here. The 3 male lions are also a story I've seen unfold bit by bit and hope to see the saga continue. On one of my first drives, we saw them. Three young male lions. Two, large and healthy, one of these two with a nearly mature mane about him and the other younger but very vibrant. The third lion was looking thin and frail. I had heard a story in the lodge of another group who witnessed the younger of the stronger males take a half-eaten carcass to this thin, frail male just a day ago, showing mercy and camaraderie for his fellow pride-ousted youth. Then, only hours later, we came upon these 3 having recently finished their meal. Bloated and sleepy, they laid in the grass. The 2 healthier males lay together, the 3rd, just about 10 yards away more in the brush and shaded. The oldest, large-mane male was so kind to pose for some amazing photos. We were only 20 yards from them, and they seemed to care not about us or our proximity to them - or to their recent kill. Beautiful creatures. 

We saw these same 3 again last night in a different location. The 2 healthier males, again, were laying together. The younger of the two playfully and even lovingly curling up to the older male. The thinner of the 3 laying about 10-20 yards back in between 2 trees more in the shade.  You can now see better the personality and life of these boys. The younger of the healthy males appears to be the glue between the oldest and the thinnest in the group, lovingly nurturing both. It seems somewhat odd for male lions to be that caring for one another. Today they are loving allies. Tomorrow they may have to fight each other for dominance....Until then, however, they will help each other. It is such an interesting story to be observing.  Our guide, Formen, tells us that one good kill for the 3 will put the thin guy back on track. The kill we saw them enjoying the previous days had been only a small baby buffalo, so was just enough to keep them all from going hungry. 

This young, now thin, boy had been ousted from the pride not that long ago. He had reached a certain maturity and the extent of the pride leader's tolerance.  He had been trying to kill and feed as a solo male, which had not been very successful for him. Now that he has taken up with and been accepted by these other 2 males, they can hunt as a unit and he will be more successful. Despite his thin and frail appearance, he now seems to have a better chance to survive. I hope I get to see him dining on a good meal or having just had one. I'd like to leave this camp seeing that he will be a strong survivor of his circumstance.

For more information on the camp lodge I'm staying at, see Tand Tula Safari Camp
To see more pictures of my safari so far, see My Safari Photos-Tanda Tula
 To see more of the pictures, see Best Shots Timbavati Tanda Tula 2 

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