We don’t often encounter the Nyelethi young female anymore. After the death of her mother (not witnessed, but believed to be in early 2011), she shifted her territory northwards, away from the Manyelethi Riverbed.
As the only female in a litter of three, the pressure placed upon her at kills by her two brothers forced her into independence at an early age, and she would make regular excursions outside Londolozi’s borders.
A large devastating hunter, this powerful leopard was a descendent of Saseke Female, a territorial female who resided north of Londolozi
This footage below is from 2009 and shows the Nyelethi female and her two brothers feeding with their mother.
It seems now that she has really grown up as we have recently seen her mating for what as far as we know is the first time. Her suitor was the Gowrie male, a large leopard usually found over our Northern boundary.
Time will tell whether or not this mating results in pregnancy and cubs, but for now it is enough to know that she is ready to have a litter of her own.
The Gowrie male first appeared in the Sabi Sands around 2011. Judging by his size, he is estimated to have been born around 2005/6.
As an apparently fully mature female, this hopefully means that we will be seeing a lot more of her in an established area.
Written and filmed by James Tyrrell and Richard Laburn
Photographed by James Tyrrell and David Dampier