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This Week at Angama #227

Conquering prides and taking new land has become the norm for the lions of the Mara. Fortunately, we were able to witness some of the drama unfold
Above: A man on the move — the Inselberg Males are expanding their empire

It’s always exciting to be back in the Mara after a short break and as always, plenty has been happening. The Inselberg Males have expanded their territory to the northeast of the Triangle towards the Purungat Bridge. They are now mating with one of the lionesses from the Purungat Pride, bringing the number of prides under their watch to three in total.

F 7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640 | Photo: Adam Bannister
F 7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640 | Photo: Adam Bannister
F 4, 1/1250, ISO 500 | Photo: Adam Bannister

As a result, tension between the brothers is inevitable. In the lion kingdom, the right to mate is not a given, it is fought for; earned by teeth and claws. Ruka, one of the Inselberg Males, sadly has lost his left eye as a result of these fights leaving him with a bad injury. Will he be the new Scarface?

F 11, 1/800, ISO 640 | Photo: Sammy Njoroge
F 6.3, 1/500, ISO 320 | Photo: Andrew Andrawes

The need for lions to expand their territory is ever-present to spread their genes and continue their bloodlines. Of course, getting too ambitious leaves areas vulnerable to encroachment by other males. This is exactly what we found with this unknown male mating with a Border Pride female deep in the Inselbergs territory.

F 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 1250 | Photo: Andrew Andrawes
F 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 1250 | Photo: Andrew Andrawes

As we drove through the open plains we saw an area teeming with wildlife. At first, we saw zebras and topis all looking in the same direction, an indication that there was something going on. As we drove past the herds, we noticed a group of elephants were fairly agitated and charging toward something. We navigated around large rocks and came to see about 15 hyenas devouring a topi. The sounds of nature echoed across the landscape. The kill was most probably stolen from some lions nearby. Within a matter of minutes, the carcass had been consumed and a single hyena grabbed the remaining head of the topi with its powerful jaws and ran off into the distance.

F 7.1, 1/250, ISO 100 | Photo: Andrew Andrawes
F 6.3, 1/200, ISO 100 | Photo: Andrew Andrawes
F 6.3, 1/200, ISO 100 | Photo: Andrew Andrawes
F 7.1, 1/400, ISO 100 | Photo: Andrew Andrawes

We featured Risasi a few weeks ago looking very pregnant while hunting a baby impala and now her belly is gone. Our sincere hope is that she successfully gave birth and her cubs are stashed away safely. According to Dr Elena Chelysheva of the Mara-Meru Cheetah Project, we should look for dirty fur on her belly — an indication that she is nursing. From the photographs we took this week, it looks like this could be the case.

F 9.0, 1/800, ISO 1600 | Photo: Sammy Njoroge
F 9.0, 1/800, ISO 1000 | Photo: Sammy Njoroge
F 9.0, 1/800, ISO 1600 | Photo: Sammy Njoroge

Ruka and Rafiki are continuing to make headlines in the Triangle with successful hunts thrilling our guests and guides. Unfortunately, some of their hunting doesn't go unnoticed, inviting unwanted guests to their dinner table. Hyenas, which are heavier and more powerful opportunistic predators, bullied the brothers off their kill, each scattering with a piece.

F 5.0, 1/3200, ISO 400 | Photo: Robert Kiprotich
F 6.3, 1/2000, ISO 400 | Photo: Robert Kiprotich
F 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 400 | Photo: Robert Kiprotich

As usual, we are always excited to see the old guard, Shepherd Male still doing well. In fact, he actually seems to be healthier. The hyena he caught a few weeks ago must have been very nutritious.

F 5.0, 1/500, ISO 200 | Photo: Robert Kiprotich

This Week a Year Ago:

f. 4.0, 1/1000, ISO 640, -0.33 | Photo: Heidi Hyland

A year ago, one of our guests captured this picture of a crocodile feeding frenzy during the first crossing of the season.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Maasai Mara , Mara Triangle , Photographic Safari , Wildlife Photography

About: Sammy Njoroge

Sammy has worked in the film and photography industry for over seven years and has loved every moment of visual storytelling. He is passionate about the natural world and is keen to bring wildlife stories into your home. Outside of the "office", Sammy enjoys the ocean and exploring different cuisines (despite the fact that he usually only eats one meal a day)

Browse all articles by Sammy Njoroge Meet the angama team

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