By Constance Taylor (Gorongosa Lion Project)
Exciting news! Since the last post we’ve documented four lions:
Tripod (the three-footed lioness) on September 19th
Two unidentified lionesses on September 20th. One appears to be pregnant/lactating (we suspect these lionesses are the Baobab Pride)
And one of the Sungue brothers on September 22nd.
We’re on lion time right now, which means we’ve been waking up at 3am to be out on the floodplain, which is a favored hunting ground for them. The past four days we've been scouting and putting up remote cameras to capture photos of our lions.
We have also caught glimpses of…
Sable grazing in front of Baobab trees, the quintessential Gorongosa bush scene.
Gorongosa’s herd of Wildebeest… a rare sight!
A Waterbuck looking ghostly in the early morning fog
A flock of White-backed Vultures we went over to investigate, since they were near where we saw the male lion the other day.
And what do you know, we found the fairly fresh remains of a Reedbuck! We suspect a lion preyed upon it because of the way the bones had been chewed upon and scattered around, but it’s hard to tell for certain unless you actually witness it or there’s fresh lion scat around.
In addition to our field work, we took a trip down to Gorongosa’s Community Education Center (CEC), where a Paola gave an impromptu presentation to a group of American high-school girls who happened to be visiting that day and were eager to learn more about the project.
After Paola’s talk, Cesar (one of the trainers for the anti-poaching patrol) gave us all a demonstration of how wire snares are set and how they capture animals. So far this year, the anti-poaching patrols have removed over 1,000 wire snares from Gorongosa’s park lands. The snares catch anything that steps in them, including elephant, buffalo, and lion, even though the primary targets are antelopes.
Tomorrow we resume our 4am field days in search of more lions. We’ll let you know what we find!
Until next time, the vervet monkeys around camp say hello…