One morning we departed from the lodge in hope of finding the big cats. We had a lead as we had heard lions roaring through the night and it sounded as if it was really close by. As we headed in that direction, the bush around us was strangely calm. Then all of a sudden one of the guests called out “LION!!” and there they were right next to the road, our two dominant males! As we approached we discovered they were feeding on a kill – a buffalo calf. The tension was electrifying! The slightly bigger male seemed to be eating normally whilst the other was holding on to part of the kill, desperate to keep whatever he could from the bigger male. Now and then the bigger male would try to grab the remaining meat from the other but he was not having any of that! After a couple a powerful growls the intent was clear and the boundary between them was set.
Other than the lions feeding, there was much action around that could easily have been overlooked. We noticed the dead buffalos stomach had been torn open and the contents were exposed, luring in dung beetles from all over! What is waste for one animal is food for another! And the dung beetles were not the only ones attracted by the kill – we noticed some hungry black-backed jackals hanging around waiting for scraps. Even a hooded vulture joined in the frenzy!
After the larger male lion finished eating, he casually got up and strolled toward a large puddle to have a drink. Grasping the opportunity, the other male quickly grabbed the kill and bolted behind a tree to devour what was left of the carcass. Everything was consumed and nothing was left to waste. It is amazing to think how efficient nature really is.