Nature truly is the most outrageous stage upon which her actors have free will to amaze! Every so often this stage is a platform which reveals never to be repeated cameos…
The Maxabeni 3:3 Young Male had just completed an hour-long stalk across the open clearings; nestled behind a tiny thicket he waited for dusk to set in. The Impala made the fatal move and came within striking distance. Natural instincts took over and the young male leopard flattened the large impala ram in seconds. Immediately he did what he had seen his mother do countless times before, he tried to drag the kill to a tree. But the scene of the murder was in a clearing where the nearest tree was about 200 meters away and that would require a major effort. He opted for trying to hide it instead so that he could begin feeding.
The brother of the Tu-Tones male from the same litter, the Makhotini male has had a far more successful life.
Not long after the Maxabeni 3:3 young male leopard had killed an impala, did the first hyena arrive. The rogue scavenger had smelt the carcass and wandered into the arena. Upon calling for backup there were a handful of hyena circling the male leopard within minutes. The restless, marauding masses had arrived. It was not the first time this had happened, the Maxabeni young male would have to give up his prey to the hyenas.
The hyenas fought and pulled the impala into pieces, devouring most of the kill in seconds. One large female ran away with the head, screaming in delight. But the Maxabeni Young Male stayed in the wings, he was not ready to depart this act. In a moment of immense bravery, or perhaps stupidity, he challenged the 4 hyenas and stole back his prized kill. For just a moment there were animals running in all directions, chaos reigned supreme. Add to the scene a little Side-Striped Jackal who had casually arrived to investigate if he could benefit from the confusion.
That’s when we noticed there was a second Leopard on the stage…the Vomba 3:2 Female had been lurking in the background trying to get in on the action. At one moment we had two leopards, four hyena and one Side-Striped Jackal all trying to feed on the diminishing remains of the Impala. It was intriguing to watch this scene unfold in front of our very eyes; not to mention the auditory experience which was quite spectacular.
The Vomba female was a leopard with an instantly recognisable rich golden coat. She spent much of her life around the Londolozi Camps.
At the end of this play the actors all left unscathed; the final act had been a peaceful pass-by as the Vomba Female had merely walked past the Maxabeni Young Male under a moonlight Marula, unperturbed by each others presence…