It struck me that some animals to rangers are like a sports team to a fickle public. When they do well, everyone loves them. When the results aren’t there, however, their capricious followers can be rather less faithful in their loyalties. Ok that is not the case in the bush exactly, but if you read back to March of this year, we posted a blog about the Dudley Riverbank female’s last cub, and how since other female leopards have given birth to cubs since then, cubs that live closer to camp and are generally easier to track down, that young leopard and her mother are not as sought after. There was an amazing sighting the other day between the Dudley Riverbank female, her cub and the Camp Pan male, but for months before then sightings of her had been infrequent at best.
Anyway, months down the line I am again referring to how different animals’ stars can rise and fall, and at the moment, among Londolozi’s leopards, no individual’s star is shining brighter than the Nanga female. Falling out of prominence after her mother died and she was forced to shift her territory slightly further north than we were used to seeing her, it was months before she was once again viewed regularly, but since the birth of her first litter a few months ago, scarcely a drive has gone by without some ranger/tracker team heading into the north to try and find the three leopards.
Recently she was found by Don Heyneke and Rob Hlatshwayo near Nanga Road, her namesake, and our online chief and wildlife filmmaker/photographer, Richard Laburn, headed out during the day to capture some footage of the three leopards.
Written and Photographed by James Tyrrell
Filmed by Richard Laburn