The name of the clan refers to the Lerai forest located within their territory.
Are predominantly nocturnal because in the daytime Maasai herdsmen move through their territory with their cattle and goats.
May commute to the distant Serengeti to hunt wildebeests and occasionally feed on Maasai cattle that die or get lost in the highlands.
Visit every now and then the nearby ranger post during their nocturnal wanderings to find things to chew on, such as boots or buckets!
In portrait: The males
For many years, the immigrant males of the Forest clan mostly consisted of males that originated from the Airstrip clan. For example, between 2003 and 2008, 15 out of 18 Forest clan immigrants were born in the Airstrip clan.
This had a strong influence on the distribution of paternities: 90% of all cubs produced by Forest clan females between 2004 and 2016 were sired by native Airstrip males. Only two males stood their ground against the supremacy of the Airstrip immigrants; two young males from the Forest clan that decided to stay at home to breed. Thanks to their mothers’ support these Forest sons occupy the two highest ranks in the male hierarchy.
Living in the same clan alongside your father however has its downsides: you compete for the favour of the same females and reduce each other’s reproductive output. Possibly as a result of poor fitness prospects at home, one of the two native Forest males subsequently left the clan and joined the neighbouring Triangle clan.