The Olare Orok Conservancy has now dried out a little and the extended rains seem to have finally moved on (for now) leaving in their wake the huge open plains of swaying grass dotted with topi, eland, the tails and tops of warthogs heads and families of elephants who have moved into the area for the lush recent growth from the wooded hills to the north. Due to the rain and the extensive grazing available many of the prey species have dispersed over a very large area meaning the predators have to move much further afield to find food. This month the lions in the area have resorted back to “bacon” (warthog mainly) for tidbits of sustenance. With the majority of the wildebeest and zebra having moved on, the menu choices for the king cats are far fewer and the effort required in hunts far greater. It is a (relatively) hard time of year for the Mara lions who are usually seen as the ‘Garfields’ of the Kenyan lion population as hunting is just too easy here for them usually in the wildlife rich Masai Mara.
The Moniko lion pride has moved into the area around EnDonyo Loip where they stay well hidden during the day; the Enkoyeni lion pride (4 females and 9 cubs) is back in their haunt above the Olare crossing; the Motorogi lion pride is having a field day at their salt lick as many of the remaining medium-sized prey have congregated up this end of the conservancy.
For those of you following Narasha, the female Cheetah who’s foot was cut very badly in December before she lost both of her cubs, you will be happy to hear that despite still having a limp she is now hunting successfully and yesterday she even managed to pull down an adult female Impala which as you many know is quite large for a lone Cheetah and a very decent meal, which she gratefully gorged herself upon.
Pretty Girl, the little leopardess who had two cubs on Christmas Eve, has remained in the area between the eastern and western branches of the Ntiakitiak River. Recently she moved her cubs west as the baboons have taken to spending much time around the warberia trees which are fruiting at this time of year. These little bundles of fur have only been spotted once or twice since their birth but as they get older and bolder we hope to see more of them as they start tumbling around under the watchful eyes of their mother.
The leopardess who was around the camp last week is still here after she finished the Thompson’s Gazelle she had in the tree on the plains in front of the mess tent. She seems to be spending quite a lot of time around the fig trees just below the camp and is now becoming a little more used to vehicles which is great news.
Down in the reserve Notch, the huge male lion previously from the Marsh pride, together with his mafioso of five sons, killed a hippo over the weekend and, with their pride of females and offspring, they have spent a good part of the week keeping the hyenas, jackals and vultures at bay while they gorge themselves on their feast.
Just down the lugga (riverbed) from them, Olive, the leopardess, has been spotted a few times. She, like the lions in the area, seems to be finding it a little harder than usual to find prey but then again she is a master at the hunt and we are sure her hunger will only last for as long as it takes for her to find one of the many rightfully paranoid baby warthogs who are racing around in a desperate hope to survive!
Tags: 60 Minutes, animals, cheetah, Eland, Elephants, gazelle, Great Plains Conservation, Hippo, January 2012, Kenya, kenya safari, Leopards, lions, Mara Plains camp, Masai Mara Reserve, Olare Orok Conservancy, Safari, Topi, Warthog, wildlife
This entry was posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at 7:58 am
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