One of Londolozi’s iconic leopards is missing…the Maxabeni Female
The last confirmed sighting of this icon was in the last week of October 2012. That is now 9 weeks ago! A long period of time for Londolozi’s previously most viewed and celebrated female leopard. The sighting, back in October, was unusual to say the least. It was documented in a post that showed how she was caught on film catching and killing a large warthog whilst mating with the Marthly Male. She was drawn far out of her territory in an attempt to follow the male with which she was mating. This meant that she crossed north over the Sand River. A dangerous crossing in itself. It led her into the land of the unknown and into the territory of other, unrelated females. She has not been seen since…
How long must a leopard go unsighted for before he/she is classified as dead?
Her last attempt at motherhood
In September 2012 the Maxabeni Female denned a single cub in the Three-Streaked Donga drainage system. The same area in which she had previously denned before. The cub was seen once or twice and was even moved further north into another densite within the boundaries of the Vomba Female’s territory. This cub has not been seen since early October and is assumed dead. Was it the passing of this cub that her made risk life and limb in an attempt to mate with the huge Marthly Male?
In your opinion is the Maxabeni Female dead or alive? If alive then why has she not been seen for so long? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
Written by Adam Bannister
I think she is still alive. and i think she really wants to mate and with that she took a step into the unknown but I think she will return soon
Not very hopeful? Her mother moved deep into the west late in her life, maybe she is there somewhere?
Its truly heart breaking to even think of all that goes on in the wild.
I hope she returns safe and sound.
Oh please, let’s hold out hope that she is alive and well.
REALLY? You want us to speculate about the fate of one of your oldest, most popular, to date, living females? One who has spawned succesfully so many offspring? OK… I speculate she is dead. I hope she passed peacefully knowing she fulfilled many lifetimes of LIFE just from the many cubs she raised. I HOPE she is still alive, only because she was the first leopard we saw upon entering the gates of Londolozi, although I know her days her numbered anyway and that she comes ‘home’ to pass on. God bless her and thanks to you all for giving her safe passage through her life. May her offspring live as long and fill South Africa.
Is this strange for a leopard to do, I hope she will be sighted soon
… She shall be sighted soon. If she was unsure about herself, am sure she wouldn’t have followed the Marthly male.
We have had countless hours of amazing viewing of the iconic Maxibene female and her beautiful cubs. Definitely the most relaxed leopard we have ever viewed and behaved as if she was on the Londos payroll with a job description of showing off near game viewing vehicles. What a grand legacy she has created. We are very sad to hear she is missing. How old is she …. 16?
I hope she is still alive. But is it possible that she has shifted her territory altogether? Or maybe she has been unable to return to her old territory (due to the river maybe?)
Feeling very sad, but hopeful! This leopard too has been part of so many wonderful trips to Londolozi. Thank you for keeping us in the loop of life – and maybe death – at Londolozi. Your stories on this blog always make me feel like a special part of the Londolozi family.
Hope for the best prepare for the worst. She may have gone back to her natal territory, it has been done by others. She gave us all great joy and a number of progeny to keep track of.
She will live on in stories and memories. I think alive or not she has moved out of our lives.
Thank you for sharing your life with us Maxabeni female..
Thank you for sharing. I pray she will be ok. I feel very sad to read such bad news, but that is life I guess. This is very hard for us who loves her.
I am hoping she left her territory although that is an unusual choice for a 14-15 year old leopard. Death is possible, but here is another more hopeful scenario-
The Maxabene female had two young adult male sons recently (b 2009 I think). Although now independent, they have been slow to disperse from their mother’s territory. I have read male leopards usually seek territory miles away from their mother (helps avoid incest), although their sisters will try to establish themselves adjacent to the mother.
Are these large sons still in their mother’s territory? If so, perhaps Maxabene female left because she was afraid they would harm a new cub not related to them or their father. Maybe it was too crowded trying to hunt successfully with these two big males around.
Anyways, wherever the Maxabene female is today, peace and love to her.
She probably drowned in the river.