Safari 17: Distracting His Highness

Continuing his stay at Porini Lion Camp, Clinton Richardson observes the behaviour of some of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy’s lions …

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This series of blogs will take you on Clinton’s safari in Kenya as he travels from Atlanta (USA) to Nairobi National Park, Selenkay Conservancy (Amboseli), Ol Pejeta Conservancy (Laikipia) and Olare Motorogi Conservancy (Maasai Mara). Let’s join him on his journey as he shares his insights into the conservancies, Porini Camps and the people (and animals!) that he meets along the way. All images are from Clinton’s TrekPic.com photo site. Blog entries are from his Venture Moola blog at ReadJanus.com.
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This week our posting is rated Feline X as we recount our first stop on an afternoon drive out of Lion Camp. After lunch and time to reconnect with friends from earlier camps, we headed out in an open Land Cruiser for our afternoon drive with a couple from California and a mother and daughter from Canada.
Our driver took us directly to a spot where several lions, and a few safari vehicles, were stationed. The lions, one male and a few females, were near a zebra kill that the male claimed exclusive rights too.
He was not eating when we arrived but he was fully engaged with keeping the females away from the kill. He might have been successful if he had been more single minded or if the females did not have their ways.

Above, you can see him keeping a female away from the kill. She stayed at a respectful distance so long as he remained near.

Not far away two females were completely ignoring him. Once he made his point to the encroaching female and she backed off, he ambled away past these two females to a nearby tree where three females were lounging in the shade.

He had not forgotten the kill. He stopped to turn around and roar in the direction of the kill before he engaged with these three females. It was enough to keep the female who lingered near the kill away from her anticipated meal.

But then it was time to procreate. The male chose a female and started nuzzling her and then mounted her. Another roar from him and one for her when they was done. Then, slowly and panting, he ambled back to his kill. No one else approached the zebra carcass.

After standing next to the kill for a few minutes, he returned to the tree where the females were lounging and mounted another female. Again, when he was done both he and the female let out a roar and he left panting.
This sequence repeated itself a few times until the tired male sat with the females and watched the original encroaching female lunch on the kill. The picture below shows the moment when feminine wiles trumped male’s effort to monopolize the kill.

The female now had the carcass to herself and chomped away at what remained of the zebra.

Before long, though, she had company of another sort. A second female who approached but did not challenge for the zebra. Instead, she sat close by to wait for a turn.

We drove on soon after this.
We were less than an hour into our afternoon drive and had already seen a lot. Would we see anything as interesting during the rest of the day’s drive?
The answer turned out to be yes. Before the end of the day, we would learn how to eat a tree and witness a mother Cheetah and her three cubs as they searched for prey on the plain.
More about that later.
First published 24 Jan 2019. All photos and text are © Clinton Richardson. All images are from his galleries at TrekPic.com
 

About Clinton Richardson

Clinton Richardson has been writing and taking photographs for decades. His books include the critically acclaimed 5th edition Richardson’s Growth Company Guide 5.0 and the award-winning book about social media and ancient coins called Ancient Selfies. His images, including images taken on his trip, can be viewed at TrekPic.com. His Venture Moola blog can be viewed at Readjanus.com.
 

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