Thursday May 10- Kitty Kisses

Stage 2 escort
This morning, we left camp to drive to Ngamo, the neighborhood Stage 2.  In this Stage 2, there are currently 6 female lions, 1 male lion, 1 adolescent lion and 4 cubs.  These trips to Stage 2 occur 3 times a day for 2 hours, with additional trips in the middle of the night and other times during the day as needed and the purpose behind the trips is to research the behaviours and interactions that occur within the pride. 

The leg thief
During our particular visit, the lions were all found in what appear to be a graveyard.  The area was littered with skulls and bones of various sized animals, and it only seemed fitting to find the pride with a zebra kill from earlier that morning in this area.  We spent our entire time here as the entire pride was lounging around, with the male (Mylo) and the two dominant females feeding on what was remaining of the carcass.  Every so often, we would play witness to the cubs trying to sneak in without the permission of their father, only to be scared off with a menacing growl.  When a subordinate female attempted the same move as the cubs, they too were chased away followed by a flash of teeth.
Mylo and his zebra

At one point, one of the females made off with a leg from the carcass and quickly ran off to hide with her prize.  The cubs were eventually allowed to feed alongside their dad as he slowly filled up.  A couple of the cubs did not join the others because they were already full, which was evident by their enormous bellies.  It seemed impossible for the cubs to walk with their stomachs that full and usually they would just stand, wobble a couple of steps and then fall down to sleep.

A satisfied cub
Full bellies

Alex's meat prep wardrobe
Following research, we were driven a short way off of camp to a butchery just outside of Antelope Park.  Waiting for us in the butchery was a cold room.  Inside the cold room were caresses of various animals that were given to Antelope Park along with bags of organs donated by local butchers.  We spent our time at the butchers cutting up an impala and breaking it down into individual legs.  We then cut off fist-sized chunks of mean from what was remaining of the carcass and then hid vitamins inside.  

After we had our fill of cutting up dead animals, the smell (you get used to it quickly, or stop breathing- either works) and standing in a pool of blood, we cleaned up the cold room and walked through a cloud of flies back to our chariot, a pickup truck with benches in the back (I actually loved these trucks and when we would have a driver who drove a little bit too fast so that we would have to hold on to the bench to prevent ourselves from falling out the sides.  I seriously loved these trucks and the adventures they took me on).  We then went to visit the P's to deliver their legs where we also got 'lion kisses' when we fed the chunk of meat with vitamins to them through the fence.

Cleaning up the butchery
Following the kitty kisses, we went to the stables to make horse food for the numerous horses that resided there.  The work was not difficult, just dusty as everything that was put into the food was processed and chopped up.  We delivered the goodies to the various troughs around the stables and then went to meet our 'ele' friends for elephant herding.

I still can't say what my favorite thing to do at night was, whether it was lion walks or elephants.  Both the elephants and the lions become familiar with you and will come to greet you whether it is with a curious trunk or a throaty groans from the lions.  Either way, you get to see the sunset at the end of everyday, which never ceases to amaze me.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness... so on one of my last days we had to clean out the butchery cold room that had gone OFF because of a power cut. Oh my god. Most vile thing I think I've ever done. Not to mention both Gillian and I almost fell into the soapy bloody water.... ughhh...*vom*