Still more elephants arrived until there were at least 100 in all, the latecomers filtering their way to the body, seemingly paying their respects, then moving to the rear of the congregation. All the time, the lions watched from the shade of the bushes, great oval eyes unblinking – perhaps like terrorists relishing the extent of the grief they had caused without ever being able to comprehend the depth of that grief. Then the matriarch abruptly turned away and began to head back along the valley. Others followed until only one female was left. She took a last look at the body, then moved down the slope to where she scented the actual kill had taken place. There she straddled the spot, urinated and defecated, then brushed dust over the small mound she had created. Finally, she half-raised her trunk in the direction of the lions – more in dismissal than protest, leaving the carcass for them to gorge and the vulture to pick clean.