Londolozi is home to a very healthy population of Leopards. Over the years it has developed the reputation of being the premier spot in Africa to watch these majestic cats in the wild. As has been described numerous times on this blog we are able to distinguish individual leopards based on a combination of spot patterns and territories.
Regular Londolozi visitors, or even the passionate online community, will recall some of the better known Leopards of Londolozi. The likes of Camp Pan, Tugwaan Male, Vomba Female and Maxabeni Female are amongst our most well known and best documented.
There is one female leopard whom is relatively new to the family. We have, in the past few weeks, written a fair bit about her but we have not really dived deeply into her history…until now.
Introducing the Piva Female
a.k.a. Nottens Young Female
Born in November 1998 to the Nottens Female (she had a sister who disappeared at about 3 yrs).
This leopard was the first cub of the Nottens female, and therefore inherited the royal blood of the original Mother Leopard.
The Piva Female has had 8 litters, to date, that we have been able to figure out thanks to the help of other lodges and rangers in the Sabi Sands.
2001 – 2 males, both survived
2004 – 2 cubs, killed by male leopard
2005 – unknown, died before independence
2006 – 2 cubs, 1 female survived (called Mbilo in the south, possibly Wacheche)
2008 – 3 cubs, 2 killed by hyena, 1 by male leopard
2009 – 2 cubs, killed my male leopard
2010 – 2 males, 1 killed by Tugwaan, 1 still alive (Selati male at Sabi Sabi/Mandla at Nottens)
2012 – 2 cubs, only 1 still alive * this is the cub in the picture below
This leopard was born to the Nyelethi female in March 2008, but sadly did not live long enough to establish herself.
The majority of her life has been lived south of Londolozi and hence for many years has actually been absent from our lands. It is with great excitement that we welcome back one of the members of the ‘Leopard Royal Family’. Yet another descendant of the famous Mother Leopard. So even though she may be new to our blog and the more recent rangers and trackers, this leopard has a healthy background here. It is believed that the arrival of a new male leopard in the southern regions of the Sabi Sands has meant that Piva has moved north in an attempt to protect her cub.
A couple of weeks ago we started encountering this female together with a cub. The cub is thought to have been born around May and is 6th generation! Yet another incredible example of the heritage and history of the Leopards at Londolozi.
Written by Adam Bannister
Pictures by Adam bannister, Talley Smith and James Crookes
Special thanks to Guy Balme for help with the information