Porini Rhino Camp, located in the Western part of Ol Pejeta Conservancy has been experiencing a lot of wildlife action lately with various wildlife flocking the tented camp. Guests at the camp have been seeing many elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinoceros, birds and lions. There are even some rarely-seen animals such as stripped hyenas that have a den just behind one of the guest tents. Recently, our staff at camp got to witness one of the most exciting wildlife interactions, a female lion hunting down a baby zebra.

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

According to Porini Camps Relief Manager, Edwin Mirara, he was busy in his office at camp when he suddenly heard some loud galloping outside. He quickly went to check what was happening only to be met by a cloud of dust left behind by a herd of zebras and impalas on the run, being chased by a female lion. Excited that this was taking place within the camp, he rushed to get his camera, jumped into a safari Landcruiser together with one of the guides and followed the action.

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

Lioness carrying its kill  (Photo by Edwin Mirara)

She was then joined by another lioness believed to be her sibling who joined her in devouring the fresh meal. Lions eat – a lot! Male lions will eat up to 7kgs in a day while females eat 4.5kgs. However, It is believed that both male and female lions are capable of eating up to 15% of their own body weight in just one feeding. They are also known to be very greedy and will hunt an animal even if they are not hungry. In fact, lions are so greedy that even when digging into this tiny zebra, they will not hesitate to hunt down any other animal that comes close to them. This being a small meal, the lionesses shared the meal grudgingly. 

In about 15 minutes and after a brief scuffle, the lionesses successfully succeeded in splitting the meal into two and after eating to their fill, one of them carried its remaining share to what is believed to be its cubs. Unfortunately, our team did not manage to see where the cubs were hidden. However, the two females are known to have seven cubs between them. In most cases when a pride is feeding, the smallest and weakest lions often lose out altogether when even hungry mothers will not share the kill with their own offspring.

One lioness taking remaining kill to cubs (Photo by Edwin Mirara)

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

Story by Ivy Vuguza, Gamewatchers Safaris & Porini Camps.