We at Londolozi are pleased to announce the arrival of a new leopard to the family. The Vomba Female is the proud mother of a single cub, born approximately mid July 2012. About 2 weeks ago we managed to find the den site of this old female and were delighted when we saw the tiny tracks of a cub. The cub was being stashed away in a very rocky and inaccessible area (to vehicles) in front of Pioneer Camp, in the Sand River. Vomba Female has always been an individual who resides around camp and it was not surprising that she decided on this spot to invest her latest love.
Vomba’s movements are very difficult to follow with her spending the majority of her life maneuvering like a ghost through the dense vegetation of the Sand River floodplain. It is for this reason that sightings of her are infrequent. Her presence is undeniable however…the tell-tale barking of bushbuck, the alarming of Baboons and Vervet Monkeys combined with the small and slight tracks imprinted in the sand.
We did not want to get our hopes up. Ever since the birth of the Mashaba Female back in 2008, she has produced a number of cubs that have sadly not made it to the age where we get to see them. She has had a tough life and a simple history of her litters paints a picture of the complex and difficult life of a leopardess living in the wilderness.
History of the Vomba Female
Date of Birth: December 1997
Mother: Sunsetbend Female (b. Mar 1992)
2003 – 2 Cubs – One killed at 3 months by hyena. The other, Vomba Young Female, is independent.
2004 – 2 Cubs – Both killed.
2005 – 2 Cubs – Litter disappeared
2006 – 2 Cubs – Male is unrelaxed and the other, Vomba 4:3 Young Female is independent (renamed Tutlwa 4:3 Female)
2008 – 2 Cubs – Presumed dead
2008 – 1 Cub – Mashaba 3:3 Female
2009 – Presumed to have cubs around Pioneer Camp. Litter was never seen, believed to have been lost.
2011 – Presumed to have cubs around Tree Camp. Litter was never seen, believed to have been lost.
2012 – 1 Cub – Current cub that was denned in front of Pioneer Camp
But so far so good for the new one. Just the other day, she finally bought the cub out of the river and into view of a handful of lucky onlookers. Hearts melted instantly…enjoy the first views of Vomba’s new cub!
Written by Adam Bannister
Photographed by Jess Boon