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Tyler Davis shares his insights and photographs of the ever-expanding Angama Pride: the challenges and successes that the pride has already experienced, and what lies ahead
A thousand feet below Angama’s perch, and always within sight of the Lodge, the Angama Pride makes their home. Four lithe and successful mothers are joined by their 13 adorable cubs, ranging in age from 3- to 10-months old. The pride is associated with four dominant males who patrol a large territory and have fostered cubs in other prides, though typically only three males are seen together while the fourth joins only for a rare reunion.
It takes a lot to feed a pride with so many cubs, and with the Migration around the females are busy and hunt frequently, sometimes making two or even three kills in a day, depending on the size of prey. In between hunts, the pot-bellied cubs playfully clamber over their mothers, chasing one another and sparring, giving Angama’s guests National Geographic-style moments on nearly a daily basis.
The first two litters of cubs were about 4 months old when the long rains started teasing the Mara in mid-March, making for some slightly miserable-looking felines.
“Kitty cuddle puddles” are not an uncommon sight after a rain, as the pride huddles for warmth, social grooming, and some bonding time. This often transitions into one of the most playful times for the cubs, as they warm up and begin chasing and tumbling over one another, play-fighting, with even their mothers passively joining in.
While the relationship between the four adult females of the pride is not certain, they are a clearly a tight-knit group and always greet one another with a head-bump or muzzle-nuzzle.
Sometimes mom just wants to be left alone…
The Angama Pride’s female foursome is fearsome to boot, and have done a remarkable job not only providing for all their cubs, but also defending them from hyena, leopard, other lions, and even buffalo and elephant. The odds are still heavily stacked against all the cubs surviving to independence, but what this pride has accomplished so far is nothing short of impressive.
The cubs spend a lot of their first 7-8 months nursing, though they also start sharing in kills as early as 3 months.
One of the Angama mothers and a cub reenacting that memorable grooming scene from The Lion King.
The Angama Pride is famous for their tree-climbing abilities; it will be interesting to watch as the cubs learn from their mothers in the months to come.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the Angama Pride and their proximity to the Lodge, revelling in the stories our guests bring back each day. We will continue to closely track the pride’s progress, particularly the growth and success of the cubs, as some of the toughest months are yet to come after the departure of the Migration