The Marsh Pride of lions have been spending their time at the Marsh in front of the Governors’ Camps as they have for the past few months now, they are seen as far as Bila Shaka river, which is still close by. The pride hunt at night and are found coming back to the marsh after following the wildebeest which are on the move further afield. The lioness with the three younger cubs tends to stay behind. The pride males are mostly with the pride; the older male Claude happy not to move very far as he still has a bad limp and has become dependent on the lionesses. The sub-adults from the previous litter are spending all their time away from their maternal pride. The five males have been moving along with the wildebeest towards Paradise Plains, they had killed a young hippo which is quite a feat for the young fellows.
Two large but young nomadic males slipped into the Bila Shaka area where the sub-adult females have been and mated with two of them. Being too young to have cubs, these females took exception to the intrusion and fought them off. The nomads have not been seen again.
The Ridge Pride has not been seen much with only two reported sightings of two of the lionesses and four cubs. They may be confused with other lions as they follow the migration into other territories.
The Paradise Pride has also been fairly elusive. The three females and their six cubs being seen on most days near the main crossing area. The other females and cubs must be further into the croton bushes or have moved across the river. The five males which are nearly the same size as Notch now with deeper darker manes have been moonlighting elsewhere. Only two have been seen a few times with Notch. Notch has been mating with a single lioness, she has not been sighted after their ordeal either.
Finally we have found Shakira, the cheetah last seen nearly a year ago with three large cubs. She was first spotted beyond Talek river toward the Ol keju Rongai river and not alone, she has six 4 – 5 month old cubs. She is definitely one of the most successful cheetah mothers in the Mara. We presume her three cubs are still well and somewhere in the Mara Triangle west of the Mara River. Shakira has been killing most days, we had a wonderful sighting of her taking down a fully grown Grants Gazelle and all the cubs called over to feast.
The female and her one cub with the bad eye have been seen regularly, she has jumped up on a few cars as well much to peoples delight.
The three male cheetahs were around the Governors area the first few weeks of the month, then venturing further over the Talek river towards ‘Look out hill’.
We had a short time with the mother and two male cubs at the beginning of the month, she then moved on into the Ol-Kinyei area and has as yet not returned.
Olive the leopard has been seen regularly and together with her two sons on occasion, who seem reluctant to leave home. Olive disappeared for a couple of weeks during the month, some people believing she may have been pregnant and could have a new litter, we will be sure to keep you posted.
There have been sightings of the female with one cub higher up on the Ntiakitiak river as well as another female not too far away up on the Talek river with her two older cubs.
The Il Moran leopard has been around, preferring the denser growth of the forest and keeping away from the company of lions and baboons during the day. She has been seen up at the marsh hiding behind fallen trees and keeping a low profile. Late in the evening once the baboons band back together to head back to the trees she relaxes and will become a bit more visable.
Otherwise there have been a couple of fleeting sightings of male leopards along the forest line near the camps.
Photos courtesy of Justin Grammaticas