Involved Leopards

Ndzanzeni 4:3 Female

Ndzanzeni 4:3 Female

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Inyathini 3:3 Male

Inyathini 3:3 Male

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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 Going Solo

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Lovely blog James. A person get so attatched to these animals. I know we should not, but you can not help yourself. Just reading on the blog about them and not even having seen them for real is exciting. Each one has got their own special caracteristics. So it is perfectly okay to call this young male goofy.

Haha, thanks Marinda! Hopefully he is still around the next time you and Des visit!

Why don’t you name the leopard and add him to the leopard of londolozi

Hi Ramone,
Excellent point.
He will be getting added in the next week or two, along with a number of other individuals. We will still be calling him the Ndzanzeni young male though, as it is only when the leopards start exhibiting signs f territorial behaviour that we will choose a name for them; a name based on the territory they look like they are establishing themselves in.
Best regards

Thanks for the laugh, James! He is a pretty leopard, but the one pic in particular, he does look a little ‘goofy’. Keep us up to date on him. Now I will be looking for new stories on him! Loved this post!

Thanks Darlene! Hopefully he sticks around the waterhole for a bit longer so we always know where to find him…

Senior Digital Ranger

Thank you, James. How can you not get attached to all of these magnificent creatures? And then one comes along that particulars grips your interest, and yes, your heart. Having never seen, in person, any of the residents who share their world with you, I feel an attachment and so look forward to posts about them. I certainly hope this young goofy boy finds his way.

Thanks Lucie,
Us too!

James – loved this article especially as we saw this leopard when he was about 11/12 months chasing squirrels up trees and looking round his environment with ‘big eyes’ wondering at it all. I don’t think you should be concerned about anthropomorphising. I actually think animals have behaviours & traits just like every other living thing including us. Those of us who have spent time with wild animals see behaviours & traits that we would describe as having fun, sadness, moods, getting on with particular pride/group members and not others, being smarter, being a bit goofy etc. These are not human behaviours & traits – but animal behaviours and just because we can describe the behaviours and traits doesn’t mean other animals do not display similar behaviours and traits to us (we are animals after all!).

Hi Jane,
Thanks for the comments. I think our main concern would be the potential to confuse what to us would be outward signs of a particular emotion, with what an animal is actually feeling, if anything at all. It’s one of things that if you attribute certain human qualities to one animal, where do you stop, and it has the potential to be a slippery slope, so we’re hanging back from edge for now… (apart from the goofy leopard!)

Greetings James,
I would think in your line of work it would not be difficult to become involved with a specific animal – no matter the species. From my perspective leopards seem to draw you in , more than other animals in the bush. This young male, from the Ndzanzeni female does have a goofy face – reminding me of a character called Alfalfa in an old tv series. I hope for his sake he can shake off his lackluster ways, usually the sign of an undisciplined teenager, and “man up” to his new responsibilities as a young, single , independent male. Keep those photos of him coming and I applaud your interest in this goofy guy.

Thanks Denise,
DOn’t worry, you’ll hopefully be seeing plenty more of him in the coming months 🙂

I’m with you, James. He does seem to appear immature for his age (especially in the close-up image) and going against the usual pattern others have set out when going independent. Keep a watchful eye out and let us know how he fairs. One always cheers on weaker/confused ones….especially if they appear goofy! Lol….

Hi Joanne; I have to admit I was cheating a bit, as the close-up image was from when he was a bit younger, but it was the goofiest one I could find 🙂

Senior Digital Ranger

I think he looks adorable. I hope he will stick around for a while. Great blog! 🙂

Thanks Alessandro, we’re hoping so too…

James, Thanks for your update! We agree with you too and remember a sighting (with you on the next vehicle) where it looked like his mother was yelling at him and he looked quite afraid! We will look forward to hearing the name you all give to him? Hopefully not a Disney character name! 😉

Haha I remember the sighting very well! And no, don’t worry, the Goofy thing isn’t a name, more of a description…
We’ll wait until he’s becoming territorial before we name him, but with males, that often only happens when he’s left Londolozi, so in all likelihood it will be someone else who names him.
Who knows though, maybe he’ll settle close by.
Best wishes!

A goofy leopard…..I love him!

Great post James! Hopefully he will find his way and do well on his own. He looks very sweet but does appear a little unsure of what to do without Mom. Do you know if he has been hunting successfully on his own? Please keep us updated on how he is doing!

Hi Jill, I know he has been seen catching a dwarf mongoose, but he has yet to be observed taking anything larger, at least to my knowledge.
Having said that, I’m sure he has been managing larger prey, but so far no one has seen a takedown…

Awww great reading its nice to hear you’s do get attached to certain individuals ..I do in these blogs and i’ve never even seen them …plus it will be great to read how he is getting on and if he makes it to adulthood and even top male …

Thanks for the comments Andrea,
He was found at the same waterhole yesterday!!

He could end up being, at least temporarily, another key player in the Londolozi leopard dynamics. I wonder if he’ll go through a phase when he targets animals far beyond the normal prey range, like certain other male leopards that I’ve read about have done (they went after buffalo calves, zebras and adult kudu’s with mixed successs). You might almost call it the experimentation phase, learning the limits early on.

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