While the group was walking to safety, they passed through an area that was known for lions.
It was getting dark, so Salva and the group decided to rest. They huddled together and went to sleep. A lion however crept up and took Marial as they slept.
"Marial was gone-vanished into the night. He would never have wandered away from the group on his own. His disappearance could only mean one thing. Lion. A lion had been hungry enough to approach the group as they slept." (40)