Tuesday, October 9, 2012

After the hunt

Today we flew over a pride of nine lions; they had conquered two smaller buffalos early in the morning. They have been hanging around the river as this is the easiest place for them to find food.  Once we had landed we made our way to watch them from the ground.  The jackals were pointing us to the direction of the lions, as scavengers they circle around the area waiting for the perfect time to move in to join in on the feast.  The vultures also circle above and sit nearby, watching for their turn.

By the time we had arrived the lions had moved their catch to a covered area. We first discovered the male, lying under the tree; he was fighting to stay awake to protect his catch of the day.  As one has nothing but time while on safari, we sat and watched the jackals move in on the king of the jungle, wondering what was going to take place.  The jackals remind me of a character from a childhood show, the "Littlest Hobo".  Every time I see these clever little guys I can't help but sing... "Maybe tomorrow I'll want to settle down, until tomorrow I'll just keep moving on"!

The lion eventually fell asleep, the jackals slowly inched his way closer, in such an inconspicuous way!  One of the brave jackals continued closer yet, watching closely the lion’s laborious breathing. He managed to get very close before the lion lifted his head, a warning that now is not the time for such a disturbance!

A few yards away the females were also lazing about.  One of the elders was guarding their second buffalo and the rest were lying nearby under a tree.

I have watched this pride of lions on many occasions; it is quite amazing to watch the cubs as they grow over the months.  One of the females in this particular pride wears a GPS collar, which has been managed by a team of Lion Researchers working in Tarangire National Park.  In past discussions with the researchers - as a concerned animal lover, I have learned that the lions are not bothered by the collars nor does it affect their normal routine for survival.  

The lions in Tarangire have plenty of food as the park is full of their favourite hoofed wildlife. The large cats will follow the animals as they migrate the African land.  It is currently one of the best times to visit Tarangire National Park, due to the large number of herds, prides and packs that roam the wooded forest.
Earlier this week I met a wonderful artist by the name of Judy Nicholson, she was visiting Tarangire on her safari and had flown in the balloon for an unforgettable experience.  I enjoy her work, especially the animal pieces. I look forward to seeing more creations, inspired from her visit to Tarangire! With joy I share Trudy’s Artwork!  

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