Involved Leopards

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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Flat Rock 3:2 Male

Flat Rock 3:2 Male

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Piva 3:2 Male

Piva 3:2 Male

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Inyathini 3:3 Male

Inyathini 3:3 Male

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About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills were well developed, and he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team as a result. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the photographic skills ...

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15 Comments

on Have the Nkoveni Cubs Been Killed?

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

It is so sad. Please correct me if I am wrong. The Nkoveni female has never raised a cub to maturity? How does the male know it is not his cubs? Does he know he did not mate with the female? Does he sense it?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Marinda,
That is correct, this was her second litter (the first was never seen), so she has yet to raise a cub to maturity. I don’t know the exact mechanism by which a male recognizes his cubs but I imagine a large part of it is olfactory, and he would most likely need to be aware of them from a relatively early age. It’s an interesting question though; maybe we should do a blog on it going forward?
When are you and Des coming for a visit?
Best regards
James

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Hi James. We are visiting from the 30th of November. Can’t wait.

Jill Larone
Explorer

Very sad news James. The Flat Rock male has certainly wreaked much sadness in his arrival on Londolozi, with the loss of so many cubs. It will be interesting to see if he can hold this new territory that he’s taken over if the older (and larger?) Inyathini male decides to expand his territory.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Jill,
I haven’t seen the Inyathini and Flat Rock males next to each other myself, but I know a couple of the rangers did see them having a bit of a scrap about a week ago. As far as I can make out the Inyathini male is slightly larger, but having said that, the Flat Rock male is still young (not yet 5 years old) so may increase in size over the next year or so. Males are generally conflict averse if they already have stablished territories, and since those both these males occupy prime river frontage at the moment, I’d be surprised if there is any significant expansion or interaction between the two over the next while.
Best regards
James

Mary Beth Wheeler
Digital Tracker

It’s been only 6 months since our last visit and so much has changed within the leopard ‘community’ – Xidulu, her male cub, Piva, Nkoveni’s 2 cubs, one of Tamboti’s cubs gone and probably more I don’t know of. So sad, so difficult to accept nature’s reality…

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Mary Beth,
Indeed, in terms of a shift in dynamics, and a total restructuring in the leopard population, this last year has certainly been one of the most tumultuous since I’ve been here, especially because much of the change has occurred in the territories close to camp, among our more prominent territorial individuals.
When are you back for another visit?
Best regards
James

Mary Beth Wheeler
Digital Tracker

Bob & I will be back in June, James, looking forward to see what nature has wrought by then! Will be following the blog daily in the meantime – keep up all the great work!

Carolyn Whitaker
Digital Ranger

Thank you for another excellent post in dealing with a delicate subject, James. I think most of us who have witnessed these beautiful creatures become attached to them and their histories. I am thankful that nature allows for so many happy beginnings to offset the sad endings.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Thanks for the comments Carolyn,
It is definitely the attachments we form that make it a sad situation to deal with, but the reality is that this type of thing has been going on for thousands of years, and if we do get attached, Loss is the risk we have to accept…
Best Regards
James

Wendy Hawkins
Explorer

Oh my gosh this is so sad! I have no words, except the bush is so harsh at times, but just so amazing too!!!

Darlene Knott
Senior Digital Ranger

Oh, how very sad!😢 This happens so often, but is still hard to imagine. Thanks for the information though, James.

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

This was a fascinating blog from you, even though the content was not without some sadness. Nature provides us with a window into the lives of wild animals and whilst we may not like the view at times, it is as written. It seems the Flat Rock make is making his case to become the dominant male in the area. I’m wondering if after mating with the Nkoveni female, and hopefully the resulting birth of cubs, will he accept them and allow her to finally raise them to adulthood?

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

I agree that it’s too early to tell if the cub is gone, but I also agree that the signs aren’t good. I really hope that she’s still alive, otherwise it would be a very sad end to this part of the Nkoveni female’s story. Are there any suspected causes for the cubs disappearance?

Eulalia Angédu
Explorer

It is so sad the the Flat Rock make has since wanted to claim himself ‘King’ with a fierce territory taking over the land and eliminating lives.James please do continue updating us on the whereabouts of the cubs,yes we as humans may want to help the continuity of the generation but our hands are tied,i guess we have to let nature take care of itself what is meant to be will be.If the little ones are gone or alive we surely hope for the best in the existences.Thanks for this update. Keep them coming James.I always look forward to your blog,very commendable work.

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