Beho Beho Bushblog – Walter – 23 September

As the Selous gets drier, waiting patiently for the first drops of life to fall upon the ground, the wildebeest and zebra make their way to quench their thirst. In conveyor belts of motion, as one group drinks followed by another, each taking turns to take gulps of the valuable liquid, which they require daily. And because they need the water, the lions of Manze know that all they have to do is conceal their position, and their prey will simply come to them.

 

These predators patiently sit, watching, muscles rippling as they crouch lower to the ground, ears flattened against their heads, not even a breathe is taken, eyes focused on their unsuspecting victim, the tension in the air can be cut with a knife, when… Bang!

Out from the bush at full speed, this lioness launches herself and with her sheer strength she brings down a surprised, bewildered and unlucky young wildebeest. Jaws latching on and around the throat, as the wildebeest and lioness collapse onto the ground, a second lioness springs to the aid of her relative.

 

However, not all kills go the way we would like them to, and some can be very difficult to watch, especially in the case of this one, where the young wildebeest isn’t completely dead, before the second female begins to feed on the haunches, and stomach region. A lioness clutching the neck of this wildebeest, as it frantically tries to free itself, and the others lips begin to drip with fresh blood as it rips through skin and meat.

 

The female lets go of the throat, thoughts are the wildebeest must be dead, and begins to help open up the abdominal area, but it isn’t long, when the wildebeest tries to move again, and once more the female finds herself trying to end the last fight left in this wildebeest, this time her jaws over its nose. Finally the wildebeest falls completely limp, motionless as these two skilful predators begin to feast. Bone breaking, flesh being torn as the lionesses use their back teeth like serrated knives, what we call the carnassials.

 

They eventually get to the stomach and intestines, and remove them. Only eating the stomach and intestine lining, everything else is pressed out carefully. The next things to be eaten will be the liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas, with all these organs being valuable high nutrient food sources for the lions. Also by consuming the organs, it makes it easier for them to move the prey to a concealed, shaded bush to carry on the feast.

 

We eventually leave these two to head back home, both tired after their success, but still enjoying the fresh meat as they carry on with the meal.

Unfortunately all and everything has to eat, and sometimes to the expense of others.

 

 

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