“You just can’t keep the vultures away”…
Is what this female lioness would be saying if she could speak. The expanse that is the Selous Game Reserve has been quite dry in parts this season. Some lakes have dried to meagre remnants of their former selves. Despite this being a time of degeneration for herbivore populations, especially those that rely solely on grazing biomass (i.e. eat only grasses), it is a glorious time of plenty for the predator and scavenger populations here.
The Kisikio Pride has been spotted recently, harvesting in one morning: two adult buffalo carcasses, one wildebeest infant and one adult wildebeest carcass. So definitely taking full advantage of their current situation.
In the instance pictured here the female lioness captured a buffalo that was on its way to rehydrate at the nearby drying lake, shortly before the game vehicle got to the scene. This was the pride’s second kill and so she returned to the first to join in in the feast.
Before she knew it vultures were having a go at the second buffalo carcass. Lions being predators who are unlikely to share easily, this female decided she had had enough and with purpose chased off the scavenging vultures.
The lioness was successful but not for long, as a vulture is a persistent type of scavenger, stubborn and not easily distracted.
The lioness has to choose between the first kill and this one - she cannot defend both.
The lioness chased the group of vultures a number of times again, but she tired and lost interest and the vultures won in the end.
Photos Selous Impala Camp