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 Missing Leopard Cubs Alive and Well!

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Beautiful image of the two cubs together. We viewed the Tatowa female with a baby impala kill when we were at Londolozi. I could add her to my list of leopards seen, as it was the first time we have seen her. Her cubs were not with her unfortunately. What made it an interesting sighting was that the Impala mother was running around in the vicinity of the baby Impala kill waiting or looking for her baby. With the leopard in the tree.

Fantastic news ….and great reading lets keep everything crossed their on the home stretch.

Great news! The cubs look strong and healthy in the photo of the brother and sister. It has to be so exciting to finally spot them after all these months.

Is it true that a higher percentage of male cubs survive to adulthood? Is this because the females are smaller and have to be more clever to survive? Just curious……

Hi Denise,

Good question and off the top of my head I can’t say for sure.
Let me get back to you…

What wonderful news! I can’t imagine the excitement felt at Londolzi when the discovery was made. Wishing these two cubs only the very best as their life, hopefully, moves forward.

Hi Joanne, Thanks!

Us too!

Great stories, video and photos – Thank you! Russ

Hi Russ,
Thanks for the comments!

Wonderful news, James! We’re looking forward to seeing them when we’re there in June; she was well-hidden last year!

Hi Mary Beth,

Hopefully they put in an appearance for you!

Senior Digital Ranger

Hi James. That is great news! I have a question, when I was there beginning of december one of the rangers found Nhlanguleni’s den site. We couldn’t go as obviously it was a one vehicle sighting. Have these cubs been lost in the meantime? And how is Ingrid Dam’s male cub? Sorry for the many questions. Thank you.

Hi Alessandro,
Sadly it appears as though the Nhlanguleni female has lost her litter; she was found on a kill a couple of days ago without visible signs of suckle marks. Having said that, we are unsure of how old the cubs are, so there is also a chance they are weaned and therefore no suckle marks would be visible. The only sighting that has been had so far showed that the cub (only one was seen0 was quite skittish, never having seen a vehicle before.
Let’s keep fingers crossed that it’s a similar situation to the Tatowa cubs; no sightings doesn’t necessarily mean that the worst has happened!

The Ingrid Dam cub hasn’t been seen in a few weeks but I believe it was alive and well over Christmas…

Best Regards

Master Tracker


Digital Ranger

Hi James,
I was wondering if the leopards have actual names? I ask because when I watch SafariLive I am wondering if these are any of the same leopards?

Hi Gemma,
We are in a slightly different part of the reserve to the SafariLive guys, so it is very unlikely we will ever see the same individuals as them, as leopards are territorial.
We do name leopards here, but our naming is more for reference purposes and record keeping. The leopards are named after prominent features in their territories.
Have a look at http://blog.londolozi.com/2013/06/25/re-naming-londolozis-latest/ for a better explanation of the naming process here.
Best regards

James, That is awesome news! Great to hear that they are starting to come out of their shell and are surviving! Will the father protect them if another male is in the area?

Hi Michael and Terri,

I think it would be more a case of the male trying to get an intruder male out of his territory than actively defending cubs.
At least that’s the commonly held belief…

Senior Digital Ranger

What an exciting feeling it must have been to see these cubs! I was at Londolozi this past June and had the privilege of seeing a mother leopard and her two little cubs. Could this possibly be them?

Hi Ginger,

It’s certainly possible. These cubs would have been very small at the time – only a few months old, as their den was discovered in May. Which ranger were you with?


Senior Digital Ranger

I was on STAR and with Boyd and Andrea that day. We had followed the mother from down by the river to where the cubs were. The first cub had come out of hiding quickly when Mom arrived but it took a bit for the second cub to emerge (we were nervous). Mom actually climbed up a tree to look for cub. They then were on the move from spot and we saw all three drinking from a little waterhole. The cubs were smaller for sure than. I thought Boyd had said they may have been 3 months old but I could have that wrong- as I was very engaged in how adorable they were! I can’t imagine the pressure and worry on theses female leopards watching out for their little ones. Thanks for all your great posts. Love staying connected.

Yes!!! Finally, so great to see that this litter has made it this far! Great sighting too!

Senior Digital Ranger

Wow that is a relief & happy moment for us all, especially you the rangers & guests! Thank you for these wonderful pictures of them all together 🙂

Hi Wendy,
A big relief for us indeed!

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