The ruthless Mbiri boys are like mutinous soldiers that break rules, rebel against the status quo and push boundaries to occupy new territories. The Mbiris are covering a wide range on our traverse and certainly aren’t confining themselves to one section, despite other prides vigorously advertising and claiming their portion of land. That’s just the life of a coalition – to keep moving in search of females and potentially new home grounds.
The Mbiris don’t appear to have much fear. A few nights ago they were spotted tucking into a meat filled sub-adult elephant carcass that we believe was taken down by the River Pride of lions. It appears that the Mbiris displaced the mega-pride from the kill and began their banquet of bones and flesh without giving a second thought to the hungry River Pride.
A few days back the Mbiri’s guttural contact calling could be heard penetrating the night – it was a clear indication that this dynamic duo were on the move, aggressively advertising their whereabouts as they moved swiftly through the ‘veld. The night before this commotion ranger Chade and the khaki crew spotted the River Pride eyeing out a few sub-adult elephants. It became quite clear that the pride had spotted potential quarry, despite the colossal size of a young elephant being somewhat more challenging than a medium size impala. It was clear that older lioness had ear-marked one of the juvenile elephants for the taking.
The River Pride has a number of youngsters that need to be fed, so we speculate when the time was right the older lioness took down her prey. Unfortunate for the elephant and it’s emotional matriarchal herd but such is the food chain – heartless and necessary. The Klaserie camps didn’t see the events unfold but we can only assume there was plenty of dust clouds, flaying of trunks and billowing. It’s clear that the elephant calf became the River Pride’s next meal.
Enter the Mbiris.
The following day, after witnessing the River Pride stalking the elephants, the Mbiris were spotted headed in the general direction of where the River Pride were last seen. When the team arrived at the scene, the Mbiris were tucking into a hearty meal of elephant. And it wasn’t just the fragments.
There was plenty of meat and fleshy bits available for the taking. We can only assume that the Mbiris caught wind of the kill, eagerly advertised their presence and approached the scene with a clear tactic in mind. Lions are opportunistic and if there’s a free meal available they’ll pounce at the opportunity to feast.
There are a number of healthy, growing cubs in the River Pride that need protecting. The cubs in the pride aren’t sired by the Mbiris which means they may well have been under threat during a confrontation. Male coalitions have been known to commit infanticide to thwart the genetic line of cubs they haven’t fathered.
The Mbiris are dominating !