Many of you will remember the late Xidulu female, who was killed earlier this year by the two Avoca male lions.

We discussed the survival chances of the two offspring she had left behind, and are happy to report the young female is still being seen occasionally, although of the young male there has been no sign for many months.

What we didn’t expect in the aftermath of her death, was that a totally different progeny of hers would begin to move into the territory she left behind.

The Piccadilly female is a name relatively unknown on the Londolozi blog, as she has spent the majority of her 4 years in Mala Mala, where she was born (in December 2013). Over the last few months however, we have had more and more frequent sightings of her on the southern bank of the Sand River, so it may be that she is looking to expand her territory in this direction.

Resting in a marula tree on the banks of the Sand River. Photograph by Fin Lawlor

The solid pink band is the rough area she has been frequenting. The extent of her territory to the east of Londolozi we don’t know, but it is suspected that she is denning cubs somewhere around the red dot.

Reports are that she has birthed a litter of cubs somewhere around a large boulder cluster a kilometre or so north of the Sand River. Coincidentally, her sister the Sibuye female (from the same litter) has apparently also given birth, probably within a week of the Piccadilly female.

Young female leopards are often to be found in trees; their light frames and the fact that their smaller stature makes them a bit more vulnerable than the big males, regularly leads them to take to the branches. Photograph by Fin Lawlor

When female leopards give birth, or are about to, their territorial behaviour often escalates; more vocalisations, more scent-marking, anything to let neighbours and rivals know that the area is spoken for. We have observed female leopards straying slightly further than their normal territorial boundaries in order to do this, and it is generally assumed that this is to create as safe and wide a buffer as possible to maximise their cubs’ safety. It is likely that this is why we have started seeing the Piccadilly female, and when one considers that the Nkoveni female has been following the slightly westward shift of her mother the Mashaba female, that small north-eastern corner (see pink area in map above) is relatively unoccupied.

6
Nkoveni 2:2 Female
2012 - present

A young female that lives to the east and south of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.

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Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
52 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
 
10
Mashaba 3:3 Female
2008 - present

The Mashaba female is currently Londolozi’s best known leopard. Her relaxed nature means she is comfortable around the camps and vehicles.

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29 sightings by Members
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Mashaba 3:3 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
44 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
3 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist

The Piccadilly female surveys some of the new territory she has been venturing into. The Sand River flows in the background. Photograph by James Tyrrell.

Since the area she is reportedly denning cubs has no lack of potential densites, and carrying a new litter across the Sand River would seem needlessly foolhardy, it is highly unlikely we will be seeing the cubs anytime soon, assuming they are still alive. Yet it is comforting to know that over 9 months after the Xidulu female’s demise, there is suddenly a glimmer of hope that her progeny may yet take control of the area she left behind.

 

Filed under Leopards Wildlife

Involved Leopards

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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Mashaba 3:3 Female

Mashaba 3:3 Female

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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 ...

View James's profile

14 Comments

on New Leopard on Londolozi: The Piccadilly Female

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

It is good news indeed that there is another leopard moving in, on to Londolozi.

Laura Eberly

We were fortunate enough to spend 3 hours with Kikilezi and her 2 daughters Piccadilly and Sibyue when they were cubs in August 2014. Piccadilly surveyed the area as if to say”one day this will all be mine”. They are both magnificent! How happy I am they are both well and thriving,
Thank you for Highlighting her success!

James Tyrrell

Hi Laura,
Wonderful that you got to see her when she was a cub! Maybe you’ll be able to see HER cubs sometime… 🙂

A B

There’s no doubt that if we want to see leopards, Londolozi is the place 🙂

Mary Beth Wheeler

Wonderful news, James! We spent hours watching Xidulu’s cubs play together last May – good to know she!s still OK. We also saw the Piccadilly female on the border road; she won Nick the bet!

Callum Evans

Another twist in the tale (pun unitended) of Londolozi. I’ve read about this leopard on the Mala Mala website, she’s quite regularly seen there. Will be interesting to see if she or her cubs if they survive will push into the vacant area.

Irene Henkes

Eh……. I miss out on something! Did the Xidulu female first live in Mala Mala? And moved to Londolozi in recent years?
Perhaps it is just that I have been reading your blogs for just a year or so……………………..

James Tyrrell

Hi Irene,
Yes that is correct. The Xidulu female was born on Londolozi, moved onto Mala Mala, and then moved back onto Londolozi during her last year of life, although her territory still included some of Mala Mala. That’s the beauty of not having fences between reserves; the animals can roam where they want!

Michael & Terri Klauber

James, Very exciting news! We love hearing about the evolution of the leopards! Too bad that the boundary to following her to meet her cubs is still there… 🙁

James Tyrrell

Hi Michael and Terri,
Who knows, maybe next time you visit we’ll be able to visit? 😉

Gillian Evans

Exciting news!! What a beautiful leopard ! Look forward to hearing more news in due course!

Denise Vouri

How fabulous!! Good to know there’s another female to observe, and one with cubs. It is interesting to learn how cats will move from territory to territory, and how the dynamics will play out.

Carol Sturgeon

She’s beautiful! So hopeful for her and her cubs! This is very exciting, and good news!

Earline Rochester

James, the two sisters were always called DOKF 2.2 or DOKF 3.3. Do you happen to know which is which?

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