Munge – the Revolutionists
Number of members: 44
Territory size: 39 km2
Alpha female: Pambana
– born: 30-05-2008
– alpha since: 21-05-2013
Characteristics of the clan:
- The name of the clan refers to the Munge river which flows through their territory.
- The clan in the Crater where the queen is most frequently challenged by coalitions of lower-ranking females. The revolutionists are most frequently the queen’s daughters and usually seize power peacefully, but there were some exceptions (see below.
- Was for many years one of the largest Crater clans, probably because the density of their main prey (wildebeest and zebra) in their territory was high all year round. Since 2009, the wildebeest herds spend less time in their Munge clan territory and give birth to their calves in other areas in the Crater.
- Clan members can be difficult to spot because they like to rest in river beds and upper scrublands on the inner walls of the Crater during the day.
In portrait: Pambana
Pambana and her twin sister Kombozi were born in May 2008 as daughters of Woga, the beta female of the Munge clan. Alpha female at the time was Patana, an older daughter of Woga. In 2009, Tumba, an older sister of Woga, and her two adult daughters challenged Patana’s and Woga’s supremacy leading to fights of previously unseen fierceness. Pambana and Kombozi had only just been weaned and during this coup d’état, they not only lost their mother and dropped in the hierarchy by many ranks, but also got badly injured. Pambana suffered – among other things – several deep bites and an open tibia fracture of her right hind leg.
But the twin sisters miraculously survived and less than one year later they rose in hierarchy with support from their elder sisters. Three years later, they even dared to challenge Tumba and her daughters. Meanwhile, Tumba could count on the support of four daughters, but Pambana’s and Kombozi’s coalition also included five females. And Pambana’s coup was successful; she and her allies managed to overthrow Tumba and claim the throne of the Munge clan despite Pambana’s disability (her tibia was adhered, but she was still limping). She stayed in power thanks to her loyal and supporting sisters.
Read about the Ngoitokitok clan >