The last time we saw the lioness Naramat was on January 1st, 2011, when we saw her with her sisters Nanyiro and Namelok. Though we received the occasional reports of a lioness in community areas outside the Reserves, the three females were never seen again.
Then several weeks ago, we had a remarkable sighting. We were near Wire Bridge in Samburu National Reserve when we heard vulturine guinea fowls squawk a lot and fly up into the bushes. We turned around and saw a lioness walking in the distance. Running behind her was a young male cub.
This is what Jeneria had to say:
“When we first saw this lioness running with a nervous cub in the distance, I first thought this lioness was Sipen who was with Nashipai’s youngest cubs. Shivani and I couldn’t identify her properly as she was far. We took out all our books, and looked through binoculars, but something was not right. What would Sipen be doing with this young cub? Where were the rest of the lions and why was this cub so scared and nervous. She finally sat down with the cub hiding in the bush.
Suddenly it hit me. I was shocked as I flicked through the whisker spot drawings in our ID book. This was Naramat. I felt so happy to see her alive again. I felt like I was seeing one of my relatives who had disappeared for a long time and suddenly showed up. My heart was pumping fast. I could have looked at her for hours and this was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Her cub was very scared and kept disappearing into the bushes. I felt like calling out to him to tell him to come out and not be scared. I sometimes wish lions could speak to us – as I really want to know how she has survived all by herself for so many years and how she raised this cub alone. I have so many questions. Where has she been? How has she survived?”
We will continue to monitor Naramat and her cub, and share updates on this blog. Stay tuned.
Help Ewaso Lions expand our monitoring and outreach efforts in to new areas so we can keep a closer eye on lions who are leaving the parks. There is so much to learn about how solitary lions, like Naramat and Magilani, survive in human occupied lands. Please make a donation today.