Going out to look for the Dudley Riverbank Female Leopard is like trying to find a ghost. The most beautiful ghost draped in a leopards coat; a ghost who every so often leaves slight clues as to her presence! Being able to find, and then read, these clues is a extraordinary talent. A successful ‘track and find’ of this legendary leopardess requires teamwork, patience, hard work, skill and a fair bit of lady luck.
She lives in the densest spots of Londolozi: a heavily treed area lined with deep drainage lines, most of which are inaccessible to cars. Time must be spent walking around, and through, her favourite trails, inspecting watering holes and game paths. Anticipating and predicting her behaviour. In fact, finding this leopard, requires one to switch your human brain off (for a while) and turn on the deeply hidden animal brain. The other day the ranger/tracker team of Tom and Jerry did just that!
The reward was incredible. Not only did they find this leoaprd in all her glory bit they found her in the midst of playtime with her newest cub. The ghost had unveiled herself and allowed for the most glorious of sightings. A rare privellege for those who saw it. For those of us who didn’t get to, this well filmed footage will have to surfice…for now at least!
Perhaps its time you come to Londolozi and help us look for the beautiful ghost?
Filmed by Londolozi guest Jane Wood on a Canon 5D Mark III
Written by Adam Bannister
Picture taken by Talley Smith