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 ...

View James's profile


on Which Cub Survives?

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Love this story, and such wonderful pictures! The cubs being so different, reminds me of my daughters when they were young. They are grown now, and are both wonderful adults, however, still so opposite from the other.

Gawie Jordaan
Master Tracker

That is indeed what makes nature so unique..Especially Leopards. AS soon as one say, “this is what nature will do” it proves us all wrong.

Jeff Rodgers
Digital Tracker

I love posts like this that focus on behavior. On a game drive, these types of discussions are so much more interesting than ‘…here is a leopard, here is a lion, here is a dung beetle, etc.’

James Tyrrell

Hi Jeff,
Absolutely, the interpretation and discussion is far more interesting than the simple recounting of facts anyone can read in a book!

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Interesting blog. Breeding cats many years ago I found that the kittens born first were the strongest and boldest of the litter. Can’t say if it is the same with wild animals.

James Tyrrell

Hi Marinad, thanks for the comments. Interesting observation. Very difficult to say for sure of course as we can’t be sure which out of a litter would be born first, but it would make for an interesting study…!

Ramone Lewis

Who is the father of tatowa, nkoveni and tamboti females cubs

James Tyrrell

Hi Ramone,

As discussed in http://blog.londolozi.com/2017/09/04/the-original-mother-leopard-end-of-a-lineage/, it’s very difficult to say for sure who the father of a litter is. But if we had to go out on a limb and pick one male as fathering each of the above litters, The Tatowa females cubs are most likely fathered by the Inyathini male, the Nkoveni female’s by the Piva male, and then the Tamboti female could be either one, seeing as how her territory overlapped both males’ territories.

Irene Nathanson
Senior Digital Ranger

Love this concept and all the factors considered in their overall survival. I know the act of even observing them also may play a role in their survival instincts

Mary Beth Wheeler
Master Tracker

I remember an incident in 2010 when we watched a hyena steal a kill from the Maxabene female and her two sons, TuTones and the Makhotini male. All 3 had been resting/sleeping on the ground near the kill after having partly consumed the meat. As the hyena ran in, Makhotini ran off while TuTones & his mother stood back and let the hyena take the prize. Not long after, though, Makhotini returned and successfully engaged in a tug-of-war with the hyena for the meat. While these were not real young cubs, the persistence of Makhotini might be indicative of his later success in maturity vs TuTones whose life did not reflect an aggressive nature…

James Tyrrell

Hi Mary Beth,
An interesting observation you make there.
And yes, the fact remains that the Makhotini male is still alive and well while the Tu-Tones male died a couple of years ago…

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

You’re right. It’s really hard to predict which cub will survive in the long term. The one more gregarious could end up losing its life while the more timid cub thinks more of its surroundings and is more careful. In a perfect world they both would survive and we wouldn’t have this discussion. Super photos!

Connect with Londolozi

Follow Us

One moment...
Be the first to this photo
You and 1 others this photo

Filed under
10 April, 2798
Add Profile