From dawn to dusk

Pamushana | January 2018

We found a pride of lions, bloated and resting near the carcass of a wildebeest early one morning. It’s possible they’d killed and fed on something the day before because the carcass was hardly touched and they were too gorged to feed. After a while one large lioness strolled towards the carcass and deftly hauled the carcass under the fallen branches of a tree. An adult wildebeest weighs about 250 kg (551 lb) but she moved it with ease. She fed a little and then left it for the others.

That afternoon the pride’s two young cubs were lying at it, and when we returned at sunset the rest of the pride had gathered around for a serious bout of feeding, and it wasn’t long before only ribs and other bones remained.

Lionesses capture most of the mid-sized prey (wildebeest, zebra) but the males typically catch the really large prey (buffalo and giraffe). A male can eat 43 kg in a day, and a female may eat over 25 kg, but their average intake is about 8 to 9 kg per day.