For a day there was not a leopard to be seen. In spite of the hard hours tracking and eyes desperately searching the winter bush, these beautiful creatures remained elusive. And then, seemingly all at once, the flood gates opened and individuals appeared sauntering down a dirt track, appearing from behind a bush and even mating with each other. After a day of silence they were back, as magnificent as ever. This week we saw, amongst others, the Vomba 3:2 Female, The Maxabene 3:2 Young Male, the Short Tail 5:4 Male and the infrequently seen Maxabene 3:3 Male (b.2006). Enjoy…
Short Tail 5:4 Male Leopard
Short Tail Male's bout of mating featured last week continued into this week. Here he leaps out of the way of yet another swipe from the female.
Maxabene 3:3 Male Leopard
The Maxabene 3:3 male, born in 2006, had not been seen on Londolozi for some time. Although he now spends most of his time east of our boundary, he made a few appearances this week. This is a picture from his younger days, soon after first dispersing.
Maxabene 3:2 Young Male Leopard
The Maxabene 3:2 Young Male was looking decidedly sorry for himself when seen for the first time in a while this week. With an empy stomach and injured left eye, he is finding life on his own a little tough it seems.
Tutlwa 4:3 Female Leopard
Tutlwa female sneaks out of the shadows into the afternoon sun after an unsuccessful hunt of some nyala.
The "unknown" female from last week turned out on closer inspection to be a female very seldom seen around the old Moodies Camp. The scar on her left side changed the appearance of her spots on that side of her face, but the black spot in her left eye was unmistakeable.
Vomba 3:2 Female Leopard
Vomba Female was seen a number of times this week. She seems to be pregnant as well, which would be expected considering the timing of her last round of mating.
Vomba Female clambers across rocks in the Sand River, heding towards Plaque Rock
Most rangers hope to at some stage in their career have a sighting of a leopard at the historic Plaque Rock. I finally had my chance with the Vomba Female, as she leaps up a rock past the memorial.