With two prides released almost a year apart exactly, we take a look at how they square up pound for pound in one of the most vital elements of a rehabilitated pride - that of becoming self-sustaining. Looking specifically at the first four months post release for the female pride members of Ngamo and Dambwa on our Lion Rehabilitation Projects in conjunction with ALERT (African Lion & Environmental Research Trust).
Released: 1st September 2010
The first four months post release over 2010 saw the original seven Ngamo females achieve 7.31kgs of meat, per lion, per day (range 6.85-7.83). Kills were made once every 1.67 days with an average weight of 133kg. Making up all of that meat were:
- 26 impala
- 26 wildebeest
- 19 zebra
Of the Ngamo ladies, Phyre usually gets most of the meat at a carcass, followed by Ashanti with Kwali achieving the least. Dambwa Pride
Released: 26th August 2011 A smaller pride at six females, but certainly not with smaller appetites. The Dambwa females averaged 8.73kg of meat per lion, per day over their first four months (part of this discrepancy may be explained by one less mouth to feed around a kill). The pride made a kill every 1.32 days, with the average weight being 110kg. The smaller kill size possibly accounting for the increased frequency of kill.
Their menu comprised:
- 39 impala
- 15 puku
- 31 wildebeest Kruger National Park
- 5 zebra
- 3 eland
- 2 waterbuck
Leya eats most, but is followed closely by Kwandi, while her sister Kela eats the least.
To keep up to date with the latest goings on with both the Ngamo and Dambwa prides, you can follow their blogs by clicking here and here. If this has inspired you to volunteer on one of our world famous Lion Rehabilitation projects, you can find out more information by clicking here. Or how about even conducting some of this exciting research yourself?! Check out our Facilitated Lion Research Project in Livingstone, Zambia!!
Studies have shown that the expected range for kill frequencies is 1.6-2.6 days (Funston et al. 1998; Erasmus 2008; Lehmann et al. 2008). Whilst the Dambwa girls might be a little more frequent in their killing, both prides call comfortably within the expected boundaries of daily food intake for wild lions from a variety of locations.