Long Lost Lioness Reappears

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.

Naramat and her sisters last seen in 2011.

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.

The first recorded sighting of Naramat since 2011.

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?”

Naramat’s cub, Lentim, is healthy.

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.

5 People have left comments on this post



» Nirmalya Banerjee said: { Nov 26, 2013 - 05:11:09 }

We saw a lioness with two cubs in the first week of September this year in the Buffalo Springs area.. The cubs were about a week old at that time. Over two days of game drives we could not see any other lions who might have been part of the same pride. I wonder if this could have been the same lioness.

» admin said: { Nov 26, 2013 - 06:11:07 }

Hi Nirmalya, thanks for your comment. The lioness and cubs you saw in Buffalo Springs are from the Ngare Mara Pride -different to Naramat who lives on the north side of the river in Samburu and is from the Koitogor pride. You’ll be happy to hear the female you saw – her sister also gave birth soon after and now there are 5 cubs in that pride.

» sauwah said: { Nov 28, 2013 - 01:11:16 }

SO COOL ! WONDER WHO WAS THE DAD ? WITHOUT A MALE TO PROTECT THEM ?

» admin said: { Nov 30, 2013 - 04:11:07 }

Hi Sauwah, we believe the dad was one of our resident males who moved in and out of the reserves.

» maria pressley said: { Dec 7, 2013 - 01:12:21 }

This one of the most beautiful animals I have seen . My dream of ever be able to hold one of this beautiful animals was fulfilled, of all places in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina!! I went with my family and friends to visit a couple who rescue wild animals and they had a tiger, a loin and lioness . We were warned not to put our hands in their cage specially in the tigers cage or lioness. I got close to the lion as he leaned on the wire mesh, I could have melted when he began to purr like a giant kitten, I could not help myself and carefully I scratch his nose, he purred louder and ask him not to bite, and he let me give him a big smooch right on his nose!!! I will never forget him.
Later the host and his wife took us in to their home and SURPRICE!!! they had 5 cubs! 2 months old, imagine, we played and feed them their bottle and spend three beautiful hours with them . Un forgettable.!!!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Maria