Where is the Tutlwa Female’s Den Site?

by on September 6, 2010

in Wildlife

The Tutlwa female gave birth to a leopard cub at the beginning of August.  Towards the end of August this cub was seen for the first time by some of the Londolozi Rangers.  Anticipating a great story we went out yesterday evening to look for the young cub so that we could film it and put it up on the blog, however luck was not in our favour…

Tutlwa 4:3 Young Female Leopard

Tutlwa 4:3 Young Female Leopard

For the last 6 days the ranging and tracking team have been unable to relocate the cub.  It appears that the Tutlwa female leoaprd has moved her den site, an action commonly undertaken by female leopards to ensure the security of their offspring.  No tracks, no signs, no kills and no contact calls have been picked up by any of the Londolozi rangers or trackers….as such I want to know if you have any suggestions as to the potential whereabouts of this new cub.

Below is a map of the Tutlwa female’s territory.  The blurred edges are areas out of her territory and as such the new den site must be somewhere inside of this.  The points dotted red are potential densites including the Original Den Site and the Manghen Drainage Line where she was seen a few days prior.  I drove a loop around the river yesterday evening and found no evidence of leopard movement.

Tutlwa Female Territory Potential Den Sites

Tutlwa Female Territory Potential Den Sites

    Tutlwa Female Leopard’s Den Site Key
    1. West down the Manghen
    2. Marthly Drainage Line up from Sand River
    3. Woodlands next to the Lookout
    4. Marthly Drainage Line next to Sand River
    5. Manghen Double Crossing
    6. Sand River Rocks
    7. Thin Drainage Line next to Sand River
    8. In front of Taylors
    9. Original August Den Site
    10. Pioneer Camp Rocks
    11. Ximpalapala Koppies
Let us know in the comments section where your gut feel tells you the Tutlwa female leopard would have moved her cub to.  If you can provide a reason why you think it is in this location, even better.  The location with the most comments will be where I go to look in a day or two’s time.

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  • Julz

    I would go for number 6, the Sand River rocks. Lots of big boulders to hide under.

    • richard

      Not a bad suggestion Julz, it would be my second choice after the woodlands by the lookout….

  • Jamo

    Ximpalapala Koppies.

    Love the sound of the name and the March 22nd blog mentioned that ‘those in touch with energy are aware of something different in the ether”…
    Just the place for the cub of a magical cat to spend some time while it grows…

    • richard

      You could well be right. I did a bit of research into the history of leopards here and there is no recorded history of a leopard den site at Ximpalapala Koppies so perhaps this will be the first time. It is quite far north in her territory, however she may have moved up there to get out of the Sand River area which is currently very busy owing to it being the primary water source on Londolozi.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=852444432 Sheila Patel

    I think probably number 6. Because of the rocky area.
    Another possibility is under a lodge deck? I know that could be anywhere, but that is a possibility as the baby is hidden under the deck, but still in a relatively safe area due to humans being around.

    • richard

      Hey Sheila,

      Under the deck is certainly a possibility, hence I included Pioneer Camp in the list as this time last year the Vomba Female hid her cubs there for a short period. The leopards at Londolozi are generally very comfortable around human settlements and probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid at using the lodge as a location.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=852444432 Sheila Patel

    Wow Rich! I hope you find the cub! I would love to see the little one with mum when I arrive next month!

  • http://www.manmade.co.za Heidi-Lee

    I reckon she’ll be somewhere near 3 on Saturday – hopefully we’ll be doing yoga on the look out Deck at the time : )

    • richard

      I think so too, although hopefully we won’t have to wait all the way until Saturday before she reveals the cub to us…

  • Pingback: EXCLUSIVE - New Leopard Cub Caught on Camera | Londolozi

  • lucien

    Beaumonts double crossing!

    • http://blog.londolozi.com Rich

      You’re dead right Lucien! Thats exactly where she is. How did it get that name by the way?