Lions Hunting Baboons

We’ve just ended our 16th day looking for Lguret, the male lion we GPS-collared to track his movements. After a year, it is time to de-collar him and we have been searching endlessly for him so that a KWS vet can safely anesthetize him and attend to the collar.

It has been an incredible struggle looking for this elusive male who is generally seen with his brother Loirish in either Samburu or Buffalo Springs National Reserves. He seems completely set on hiding from us. When the vet is ready and on standby, Lguret goes missing. When we get news from our friends in the reserves that Lguret has been spotted, we race over, only to find that he has just slinked off again. It’s frustrating and exhausting. A total of 16 field days spent looking for him means driving hundreds of kilometers in Gypsy, bouncing around until our backs ache, baking in the sun, and getting dusty beyond belief.

Finally, we found him today. He lay under a Salvadora bush with his brother, feeding on some kind of carcass. We soon figured out what it was. The two males got up and walked a short distance from the bush. Just then, three baboons which were hiding in the bush above them began shrieking. The lions circled back and began climbing the thick bush. The baboons were completely trapped at the top of the bush with a hungry lion climbing their way. One of the baboons leapt from the bush and literally ran for its life. Lguret also leapt from the bush and took off for the baboon, which ran right by our car. They both darted up a tree and Lguret swiped, barely missing the baboon. Defeated, he climbed down the tree and wondered off. The baboon must have had the fright of its life. Fortunately, Stacey, a great friend and supporter of Ewaso Lions, took this video of the chase:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuf3UbvwU6Y

Sadly, by the time we located Lguret, it was too late in the day for the vet to come to the reserve to safely dart him to attend to the collar. We’ll have to keep trying.

Above: Lguret runs after a baboon.

Above: Lguret chases the baboon up a tree.

Watch the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuf3UbvwU6Y

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