Although last week was always going to be tough to beat, there was still plenty of activity amongst the leopards these past few days, including an interesting interaction between the Camp Pan Male and his son, the Maxabene 3:2 Young Male. In addition, you will also notice the colours of the photos beginning to change, as the summer rains give new life to the trees and grasses on Londolozi…
Last week I posted pictures of the Short Tail Male swinging from an Nyala carcass-those photos were taken on our morning drive. We returned in the afternoon to check up on his progress and to our surprise, not much had changed! Other than the Nyala being slightly more stretched out, it was still firmly stuck and he was still wrestling with it occasionally. The poor thing must have spent hours in frustration trying to get it down during the day! The photos above and below are from the afternoon drive
Nyaleti Young Female scrambles up an ebony tree with her kill, a scrub hare. The carcass was already smelling rancid which led us to believe that she had not killed it herself-she would have finished something that small long before it started smelling bad. A young martial eagle seen nearby may have been the previous owner of the meal.
Despite having a small meal ready to eat, leopard are always on the lookout for another meal, as Nyaleti Young female shows here staring intently at a duiker in the distance.
Like all good cats, leopard take great care in grooming and cleaning themselves, especially after eating.
The Maxabene 3:2 Young Male takes refuge in a marula tree from a clan of hyaena. By the looks of his full belly the clan were possibly attracted to the area by a kill, although we saw no further evidence of one.
With the coast clear, he scrambles down to make his getaway. Being solitary animals, leopard will try their best to avoid conflict, as any injury serious enough to prevent hunting for a long period could easily result in starvation
The Maxabene 3:2 Young Male walks past Nyamankunzi Pan.
The clan of hyaena weren't the only ones attracted to the area. The Maxabene Young Male's father, the Camp Pan Male, was also in the area. In what is almost a copy of the previous picture, he follows the scent of his son, intent on pushing him out of the area. Comparing the two pictures you can notice the size difference between the two, particularly in the head and neck area, although the youngster is catching up fast.
The Vomba Female relaxes near Ronnies Dam after feeding on a bushbuck kill, hoisted in a tamboti tree. The contrasting colors of the leopard and the green grass giving and indication that summer is well and truly here!