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Leopard Cubs Make a Welcome Return

by Mike Sutherland on October 16, 2013

in Leopards of Londolozi,Photography,Wildlife Diary

Post image for Leopard Cubs Make a Welcome Return

It comes with much relief for me, and the rest of the Ranging team, to know that you, where ever you may be, are sitting reading this blog about the Nanga female and her 2 cubs. For the past 3 weeks they have not been sighted. Tracks of only the mother have been seen on our northern boundary, as well as around Nanga pan, however this left many of us relatively concerned about the fate of the 2 young male cubs she has done so well in rearing until now.

Fire is a natural thing, it is a part of nature and has been for thousands of years. It came before us and will continue long after we return to dusk. In the Northern section of Londolozi, there was a recent fire that burnt through a large part of the Nanga females territory and the area in which she has so successfully raised her 2 young cubs. This fire lead to much concern in our team. “Were the cubs still alive?” “Did the Mother manage to get them to safety?” “Did they fall prey to the flames of ranging beast that takes no prisoners?” Just a few of the questions that flew through my mind.

Their absence has taken a toll here and each day Rangers and Trackers have spent hours in search of them. There has been no success until yesterday morning, Ranger Mark Nisbet and Tracker Life Sibuye together with Byron Serrao and legend Elmon Mhlongo managed to track them down. They were found on the remains of an impala kill, healthy, unharmed and content.

This morning myself and guests managed to get a sighting of them on some beautiful Granite rocks in the Northern reaches of Londolozi. The played, groomed, suckled and drank without any signs of injury, illness or harm caused by the fire a few weeks ago! Relief? Thats exactly what I felt.

We all welcome them back with opens arms and we hope they continue to offer such amazing viewing for all our current and future guests!

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The beauty of the Nanga Female.

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Such affection offered all round.

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One of the cubs heads to a small pool of water to drink.

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In plain sight, unobstructed.

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The 2 young male cubs growing with each meal.

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My favourite picture of the sighting.

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Ever alert, the little cubs watch over some Turtle doves nearby.

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Drinking time is over.

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The cubs move in for some TLC from Mom.

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An incredible sighting all round.

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Stay safe little ones.

 

Written and Photographed by: Mike Sutherland

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Chari Wilkinson October 16, 2013 at 15:26

I love the last pic best. the look on the cub’s face while cuddling up to Mom shows such love and trust. Thank you so much for sharing.

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diane sutherland October 16, 2013 at 15:34

such a relief that the cubs are still alive, what beautiful pics, would love to see them in person, keep writing Mike

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Zoe October 16, 2013 at 16:24

Simply love this!! Thanks for the update, such wonderful news!

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Sheena October 16, 2013 at 16:27

Great news, so glad they are safe – well done all, fantastic work , lovely photos Mike – say Hi to Byron from his fan club here in France!

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Penny Parker October 16, 2013 at 16:34

“stay safe little ones” – so cool…

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Arden Zalman October 16, 2013 at 18:55

Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful? Such heart-warming pictures to start my day. Thank you.

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Jill Grady October 16, 2013 at 22:55

I am so relieved to hear they are all okay and doing well. They are just breathtakingly beautiful — thank you for sharing such fantastic photos Mike!

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Rich Laburn October 17, 2013 at 09:41

Excellent photos and well done to find them again. These three leopards are my favourite at the moment…oh and of course Camp Pan!

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Shanel October 17, 2013 at 09:52

Great news and wonderful pics *jealous*!

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Sandy October 17, 2013 at 13:48

What a beautiful sighting. Thank you for your devotion and sharing.

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colo43 October 17, 2013 at 14:03

So very happy to hear of this.. Thank you for the wonderful photos .

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Mary October 17, 2013 at 15:51

such beautiful pictures, it is so great seeing Mom and her babies!

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Carol Robinson October 17, 2013 at 21:50

What a treat to wake up this morning in Sydney to read your blog. So happy they are all alive and well. Your photos are amazing Mike.

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Stephanie Peduto October 17, 2013 at 22:38

Love all the pics. So happy for you guys. Thanks for sharing. I’m not surprised Byron had a hand in finding them. He was my ranger back in May when I visited and was excellent. Can’t wait to return!

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Evette Hartig October 18, 2013 at 00:35

We have such fond memories of this mother and cubs during our visit in September, we are so happy they are alive and doing well…..thank you.

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TERRI CURTIS October 18, 2013 at 09:43

What lovely pictures Mike – thanks for sharing your story thank heavens they were all unharmed

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Trevor & Colleen October 18, 2013 at 13:30

Simply Superb!

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Wendy Hawkins October 19, 2013 at 21:19

Thank you Mike for that wonderful news! Your pictures are outstanding, especially the last one. Hope that the fire didn’t destroy too many small things, the are most vulnerable & that makes me very sad! Keep it up & I can’t wait for more news of your sightings. Have a great weekend in your paradise :)

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TinaGreeff October 20, 2013 at 08:39

All photos are absolutely beautiful!!!

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Shelley Tylec October 23, 2013 at 17:16

Hi Mike, I can close my eyes and picture myself teetering on the bank , sun in my face, excited smile on my face, and once again too amazed to focus my camera. I’m thrilled you took these spectacular photos. National Geographic should see these.
Thank you so very much for one adventure after another! Treasured memories. Shell

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TinaGreeff October 26, 2013 at 15:58

Very glad to see the cubs are alive and well.Good story supported by excellent photos.Like them all – they are all special !!!!

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