” Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Anonymous
As we enter October, the harsh realities of the drought are blatantly obvious. Lions continue to pick off buffalo, hyenas amble around with bloated stomachs, and vultures can hardly take off from the trees, so gorged are they from the excess of carrion about the place.
But there is another predator that also seems to be flourishing in this extremely tough period. The leopards have been become increasingly successful with regular kills being made by most of the resident leopards in the area. They continue to leave us all in absolute amazement as to how they seem to do this given the lack of cover in the bush at the moment. This has raised a question that I discussed in an earlier blog asking whether leopard oestrus cycles could possibly sync up? Or could it be more?
Well with the fact that they are now gaining a seemingly endless supply of food on a fairly regular basis, why not reproduce? The leopards still seem to be mating once again at very similar periods but could this be due to the fact that they are simply seeing each other more often? Either way what it means is that the possibility of cubs is definitely on the rise here at Londolozi. During the past month we have seen the Mashaba young female on her own kills and moving around a fair amount given her independence. The Mashaba female herself has fallen pregnant and may possibly be looking to extend her territory in order to raise her next litter due to the fact that the Mashaba young female seems quite at home where she was raised. The Nkoveni female has been mating with both the Piva male and Inyathini male leopards in the past week which means that she could possibly be pregnant and be attempting to secure cubs by mating with multiple males. The Ndzanzeni female has had two cubs that are around six weeks old and were born on the famous “Python Rock”. There are many more that we could get into but all we know for now is that the leopards are thriving in conditions that only the strongest will survive in.
I hope you enjoy the images from a truly memorable six weeks with these incredible cats.