Feeding time at MalaMala

MalaMala Game Reserve - Fourways Lion Pride

Fourways lion pride by Rob Kenmuir

Heather Thompson and her husband Justin visited MalaMala earlier this year. Bens Marimane looked after the couple during their ten day stay and they absolutely loved him. According to them when it comes to tracking he’s the shizniz. Apparently this ranger extraordinaire even chased down a honey badger for his wide-eyed guests.

This is Heather’s firsthand account of the hunt.

The two newly named Fourways lionesses were hunting in a field bordering the Kruger National Park. One of the females approached the wildebeest from one side in order to scare the unwitting prey in the direction of her partner who was waiting in ambush nearby. We were trying to locate the one lioness when…BAM! Right before our very eyes, noises of a slight struggle, followed by a cry for help, and finally the sound of two very determined predators taking down a calf.

UNBELIEVABLE! It was a heart racing, adrenaline pumping moment in time. Words cannot begin to describe what you’re feeling when something like that happens right before your very eyes.

As soon as the lionesses had killed the calf, the cubs immediately made their way over and wasted no time at all tucking into the feast. I thought the females were surprisingly generous by allowing the youngsters to eat the way they did. I can say one thing about this clip though. The sounds the cubs made were incredible, but if we had a smell-o-vision option I think this video would have been even better.

[Interesting thought Heather, but I’m not sure how appetizing that would be! We’d definitely need a “not for sensitive viewers” disclaimer!]

Heather didn’t manage to capture the actual kill, as it all happened too quickly. She did however record the lionesses and their cubs tucking in afterwards, and the noise coming from the “dinner table” is quite something to behold. There’s certainly no such thing as standing on ceremony when these big cats settle down to dine. Click here to see more of Heather and Justin’s photos from their trip to MalaMala.

If predators blow your hair back then you might also enjoy watching the Eyrefield male lions fight over food and learning to hunt, which is from Aquavision’s Caught in the Act series.

Happy almost weekend folks, enjoy!

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