This week included yet more amazing leopard interactions, including kills, cubs and, as always, Camp Pan Male! Having spent a number of extra long days out in the field, I was lucky enough to witness and photograph quite a number of these. Enjoy this week’s installment!
The Dudley Riverbank 3:3 Young Male was looking quite skinny when we saw him, although this is not unusual for a young leopard still finding his feet when it comes to hunting
When she was found this week, the Dudley Riverbank Female had just killed this adult female Common Duiker. After feeding for a short while she began to drag it towards a suitable tree.
All the while she was followed by this largely unknown female. We believe she is a daughter of the Nottens Female from some years back-which would make her the "niece" of the Dudley Riverbank Female.
No sooner had she found the desired marula tree, she clambered up with the duiker in tow, leaving it way up in the highest branches, with the most foliage, in order to keep it better hidden
The Dudley Riverbank Female keeps a wary eye on the other female who had been following her, as the colours of the sky change with the sunset
The Nayleti Young Female rolls in some buffalo dung. She was behaving very territorially and even attempted to call. It didn't sound quite as menacing as it may in a few years time, but at a little over two years, she is making an early start
The curved tail of the Nyaleti Young Female. A leopard's tail is a very expressive part of their body, moving in different ways depending on the activity at the time
The Vomba Young Female has a late morning drink at Circuit Pan
After a quick drink, we saw her stalking something nearby in a bushwillow thicket. It turned out to be an Egyptian Goose and her new born goslings. On being chased, the female, knowing her young ones wouldn't be able to get away, flew of just a few meters at a time, trying to entice the leopard to chase her further and so draw her away from the goslings. However, the leopard soon lost interest in chasing the adult and proceeded to sniff out five goslings from their respective hiding spots. The only fortunate thing for them was that it was all over mercifully quickly.
After finishing her small meal, she spent some time looking for something more substantial before settling in this marula tree for a rest
The highlight of the week for me was finally getting a chance to take an improved photo of the Tutlwa Female's cubs. They are doing well and growing up fast, and sightings of them are slowly becoming more frequent. One of the cubs is still not quite used to the vehicles, but it's sibling, featured above, has relaxed almost completely
The body language of this cub clearly shows it is still unsure of the vehicle. The most interesting aspect of this particular sighting was that the cubs were found with the Marthly Male, their father, and their mother was nowhere to be seen. They were very curious and followed him cautiously as he moved off, but soon returned obediently to where they had been left by mom
The Camp Pan Male was seen almost daily this week. Here he shows how flexible cats are, being able to lick just about every section of their coat clean
Camp Pan male strides confidently past a watchful journey of giraffe, as afternoon rains descend
A herd of impala face up to the menacing Camp Pan Male. With the overcast and rainy weather making colors a little more dull, this photo worked better in black and white. For my following post, I am going to do a feature using only black and white leopard shots,so look out for it next week!