It was July, still a relatively cool and pleasant time in the Luangwa Valley. The Inland water holes were just starting to dwindle and the animals were slowly but surely making their way towards the river.
One of my colleagues had returned from his morning game drive and reported that he had come across and elephant carcass. The ivory still in tacked and no apparent sign of a wound from a poacher’s gun or snare. As is the protocol we notified the Wildlife Authority and the immediately came to assess the animal and concluded that it had died of natural causes.
After the authorities had finished their work, I head out to take a look. However, The Hollywood Pride had beaten me to it and had already began feeding, yes, lions do scavenge.
As well as the lions, the vultures had turned up ready to feed on any scraps the lions would leave, or take a moment to sneak in whilst the cats were taking a break.
Due to their size, an elephant carcass can take a pride of lion a number of days to get through. With the ever-growing number of vultures arriving at the carcass, the cubs used their time in between mouthfuls to practice their stalking and try to sneak up on the unsuspecting vultures. Which I have to say, made of great viewing.
The adult members of the pride did not share the cub’s enthusiasm and once they had had their fill, took to the shade to nurse their enormous food babies and drift off into the ultimate food comer.
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