Lions at a buffalo carcass

I am happy that Simi is doing better and is in good hands. We got messages from multiple people including a couple of pictures that she is better. She is slow and lethargic, but is better.

Morning Ride: Binita decided to take it easy today this morning. I went on the ride alone with Patrick. A pride of lions had killed a buffalo. We drove to the spot where three lionesses with full bellies were still ferociously feeding on the carcass. A shy male lion with a full mane sat at a distance. It was incredible to see the cats snarl and growl at each other even when there was plenty of meat to go around. They wanted the best and tenderest part of the buffalo and would snap at littlest provocation. It was primitive behavior for the most basic necessity of life. Food!

After spending a good thirty minutes at the kill, we drove on to a den of hyenas where we saw two hyena pups. Hyenas are considered the “bad guys” in the bush. There are plenty of documentaries portraying them as such. In reality, they are hunters and scavengers, and play an important role in the ecosystem (much like any other animal). They are near the top of the food-chain (not far from lions). The babies were sitting just outside the den ready to hop in at the slightest sign of danger. They were super-cute with large paws and heads.

Evening Ride: Our guide was Mika now and he too is very knowledgeable about birds and animals. He took us to the same buffalo kill where we saw the adult male guarding the kill. The surrounding trees were full of vultures waiting for their chance for the lions to finish. At one point, a vulture swooped down only to have the lion angrily react and chase it away. The male was about 20 meters from us closely guarding the kill as he gazed at us with his steely yellow-green eyes. Impressive!

We saw 2 different owls today; the Spotted Eagle Owl (pictured) and the Pel’s Fishing Owl. We also saw a few of White Rhinos, Elephants and a bunch of other animals (and birds). Tomorrow is our last day here. One more ride to go…

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