Lion kills baby zebra in Porini rhino camp, Ol Pejeta Conservancy

by MMC
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The Porini Rhino Camp, located in the western part of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, has seen a lot of wildlife action recently, with various wild animals flocking to the tent camp. Camp guests saw numerous elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, birds and lions. There are even rarely seen animals, like striped hyenas, which have a den right behind one of the guest tents. Recently, our camp staff had the opportunity to witness one of the most exciting wildlife interactions: a lioness stalking a baby zebra.

View of elephants, giraffes and zebras from the lounge/mess tent at Porini Rhino Camp (Photo by Edwin Mirara)

According to Edwin Mirara, Porini camp relief officer, he was busy in his office at the camp when he suddenly heard a loud gallop outside. He quickly went to check what was happening and was met by a cloud of dust left behind by a herd of fleeing zebras and impalas, pursued by a lioness. Excited that it was taking place within the camp, he rushed to get his camera, jumped into a Landcruiser safari with one of the guides and followed the action.

After a short chase that ended about 30 meters from one of the guests’ tents, the lioness, believed to be a member of the Ajali Pride, managed to catch one of the weakest of the group, a baby zebra . For smaller prey, lions use their paw to slap the animal’s rear on its legs or hip to knock it off balance, then drag it down. A bite to the neck or throat quickly kills the animal. The lioness then carried her prey out of the camp, across the seasonal river adjacent to the camp, and into an open field approximately 100 meters away.

Lioness carrying her prey (Photo by Edwin Mirara)

She was then joined by another lioness believed to be her sister who joined her in devouring the fresh meal. Lions eat – a lot! Male lions eat up to 7 kg per day while female lions eat 4.5 kg. However, both male and female lions are believed to be capable of eating up to 15% of their own weight in one sitting. They are also known to be very greedy and will chase an animal even if they are not hungry. In fact, lions are so greedy that even digging into that little zebra, they won’t hesitate to stalk any other animal that comes near them. As it was a small meal, the lionesses shared it reluctantly.

In about 15 minutes and after a brief fight, the lionesses managed to split the meal in two and after eating their fill, one of them brought her remaining portion to what is believed to be her cubs. Unfortunately, our team was unable to see where the cubs were hidden. However, the two females are known to have seven young between them. In most cases, when a pride is feeding, the smallest and weakest lions often lose out completely when even hungry mothers do not share the prey with their own offspring.

A lioness carries off the rest of her prey with her cubs (Photo by Edwin Mirara)

The Ajali Pride has been happening around the Porini Rhino Camp for about three weeks now due to the large number of animals visiting the waterhole which is right in front of the camp. Lions also go to the waterhole at night to drink water.

Story by Ivy Vuguza, Gamewatchers Safaris & Porini Camps.

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