….it’s tiring for a lioness.

Hardly surprising though, as this lioness had a very busy day. Early in the morning, she was lying out on the grass with the rest of the pride, when she spotted a group of Puku coming out onto the grass in the distance. Identifying a Puku calf among the herd, and seeing that the antelopes were dropping down into a little hollow, she ran towards them. Keeping her body low to the ground, she managed to get among them before they really knew what was happening. The adults all fled but the youngster wasn’t fast enough and within about 15 seconds, she’d killed the poor creature with a bite to the neck.

I assumed that she would immediately carry the carcass back to her 2 five-month-old cubs, but instead she began to run away from the pride. I turned to find out why and saw the pride male jogging towards her, demanding his share of the kill (all of it!). She ran away, looped round and sought refuge amongst the rest of the pride, but in no time the male had stolen the carcass and carried it proudly into a bush where he began to feed. The lioness looked dejected but presumably knew she couldn’t hope to reclaim the prize.

Such is the price extracted by large males in return for the protection they provide to the pride and their youngsters.