Involved Leopards

Ximpalapala 4:4 Female

Ximpalapala 4:4 Female

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Ingrid Dam 4:4 Female

Ingrid Dam 4:4 Female

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About the Author

James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on Who Are the New Female Leopards in Northern Londolozi?

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The Tutlwa female is presumed dead? A recent conclusion?

Hi Mary Beth,
Sadly it is something we are starting to have to accept. The last confirmed sighting of her was over three months ago, and while she is a female that will often go awhile without anyone seeing her, it’s getting to be a little too long now.
In fact the last properly confirmed sighting was when she had the interaction with the Tsalala pride in a supposed den of debris in the Sand River in front of Granite Camp. Quite possibly she sustained some mortal injuries in that encounter.
We can’t yet say for sure, but unfortunately it’s starting to look bleak…


James, thanks for the update on the new female Leopards of Londolozi. I always love when you add the maps — they’re very helpful! Is there ever the same spot pattern on any two leopards, or are they like finger prints, with no two spot patterns ever being alike?

Hi Jill,
There are certain leopards with very similar spot patterns (e.g. the Mashaba and Tatowa females both have almost identical 3:3 patterns) but most of the time, before we even go into using the spot pattern for ID purposes, we look at where we are on the property (leopards are highly territorial), the sex, the size, the age of the leopard… We’ll usually know exactly which leopard it is without having to look at the spots on their cheeks. A lot of the time, the leopards are just recognizable, like people, once you have seen them a few times.


Thank you for your blog and out of this world photography. The staff of Londolozi are awesome


James, Thanks for the update and great shots! Your ever-growing Sarasota gang follows the blogs religiously every day. Can’t wait to return next June!


Thank you for your response James. It’s so wonderful, the very close connections you develop with these beautiful creatures, when you recognize each one and watch them grow from small cubs into adults and watch their lives play out. You are very fortunate to be able to live your life amongst these beautiful animals.


Thank you. Now I understand why not much is known about Ingrid Dam and daughter.
2016 has claimed 3 granddaughters of Sunset Bend–if this is true about Tutlwa (also Tutlwa had a cub!). Terrible news! I can’t wait for this year to be over.

Also thanks for addressing Ximpalapala. Your northern neighbors (EP) began seeing Ximpalapala at the end of 2015–for a couple months. She also disappeared from their monthly reports around the beginning of the year.
Looking at the extremely successful Sunset Bend legacy, there is still a heckuva lot of tragedy! I count 14 grand-offspring that reached independence. I have some gaps in my notes—-

1. Trogden female (2003-?),X Vomba, Early Tragedy?
2. Ostrich Koppies female (2004-2016 or OK female) on MM, X Campbell Koppies (Ntima), 2 cubs reached independence (1 daughter, 1 son)
3. YO (2004-2008 twin sister of OK female) X Campbell Koppies (Ntima) Early Tragedy- killed by Styx Pride
4. Son of Xidulu (Kikileze) 2006-? X Xidulu (Kikileze), fate unknown
5. Son of Vomba (2006-?must be twin of Tutlwa?, X Vomba, fate unknown to me?
6. Tutlwa (2006-2016 if true), X Vomba, 1 independent daughter
7. Maliliwane (2007-2016 -Kwatile in north, Mlowathi female on MM) X Campbell Koppies (Ntima), 1 independent daughter
8. Another Son of Xidulu-Kikileze (late 2007-early 2008 to 2011? or 2012? X Xidulu (Kikileze), I think he ended up on Singita. But then he disappeared 2011 or 2012. Tragedy?
9. Mashaba (2008- and still going), X Vomba, 2 Independent daughters
10, Emsagweni female (2009-and still going) on MM, X Xidulu (Kikileze). No cubs raised to independence yet
11. Vomba Young male (2012-??) X Vomba, Early Tragedy? Or moved away?
12. Tamboti Young female (2012- and still carrying on, Island female on MM) , X Tamboti female, Seen on both Londolozi and MM. No cubs yet.
13. Piccadilly female (2013- and still on MM), X Xidulu (Kikileze) 3:3 daughter
14. Sibuye female (2013- and still on MM), X Xidulu (Kikileze), the 2:2 daughter

Great granddaughters/sons of Sunset Bend include Nhlanguleni (b 2011), Nvokeni (b 2012), Maliliwane Young female or Tsakani (b 2014), Split Rock male on MM (b 2014) and the latest! Mashaba Young female (b 2015).The daughter of OK female (b 2009) wandered off into Kruger in 2012 (fate not known).

Hi Brian,

Wow that’s some good knowledge of the lineages around here!
To that list you can add a few more Sunset Bend descendants:
Nhlanguleni female (daughter of Tutlwa, born 2011), still has two cubs of about 13 months, although cubs very skittish.
Nkoveni female (born 2012, daughter of Mashaba).
Mashaba young female (born 2015 to Mashaba female).

The Vomba young male moved East as far as we know.
The son of Xidulu from #8 I am not too sure of (just before my time) but seem to recall him also reaching independence and moving off.

A hoisted kill was found a few weeks ago in a drainage line central in the Tutlwa female’s territory but no leopard was seen there. Tracks of a female were in the area. We are going to give it another month before we pronounce her as dead.



Perhaps Tutlwa and cub had a fright and are laying low. We will hope she and cub are sighted in the next few weeks and the future is brighter in 2017.
Thanks for update of Vomba Young male -good to know he may still be alive!
Just found out from Johan Snyder that the 2006 son of Xidulu (Kikileze) is the Mahlatini male on Sabi-Sabi who competes with Makhotini/Maxabeni male. He had info that the 2008 son of Xidulu/Kikileze is Mashiabanj male of Idube/Singita area. Its really hard to figure out what happened to the males when they wander away. I made a mistake about the daughter of Ostrich Koppies: born 2010 , not 2009. The Nhlanguleni cubs will be great, great grandchildren of Sunset Bend, which is awesome…. so the legacy lives on. OK! That is enough leopard history for me at the moment.


Don’t know if you’ve seen this Brian?

Might be interested.

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