Number of members: 49 Territory size: 15 km2 Alpha female: Utuliva – born: 27-12-2007 – alpha since: 08-05-2014
Characteristics of the clan:
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 take Massai cattle that get lost in the highlands.
Visit every now and then the nearby ranger post during their nocturnal wanderings. There, they sometimes find attractive things to chew on, like gum boots and plastic buckets!
In portrait: The males
For many years, the paternity of Forest clan cubs was an Airstrip clan males’ affair. Between 2003 and 2008, 15 out of 18 males that immigrated into the Forest clan were born in the Airstrip clan. Thus, during this entire period a mere 3 males originated from one of the six other Crater clans.
This had a strong influence on the offspring and 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 suppremacy of these 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.
But this has one serious disadvantage: because the fathers of these males are still alive, fathers and sons therefore compete with each other for the females’ favour. Possibly as a result of poor fitness prospects at home, one of these two native Forest males has left the clan in 2016 and joined the neighbouring Triangle clan.