Involved Leopards

Nanga 4:3 Female

Nanga 4:3 Female

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Tutlwa 4:3 Female

Tutlwa 4:3 Female

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Dudley Riverbank 5:5 Male

Dudley Riverbank 5:5 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 Leopard Cub Killed by Lions

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Senior Digital Ranger

It’s nature but it is so very sad. Not much luck for Nanga. RIP little one.

It is sad but part of the natural cycle. Is it about 50% of leopard cubs that survive the first six months or is the mortality rate higher?

Yes, I know it’s survival. And yes, I know life will renew and go on. But for just this one heartbeat, I’m allowing myself to feel sadness for the loss of little one peering over toward the camera.

Senior Digital Ranger

That is how I feel. Sweet little one.

Always so sad to lose one of the wonderful animals. Hope that « Mother Nature » continues to follow her natural course and we will see another cub. Victoria

Oh no.. Heart my breaks! Damn how I feel very sad that cub life ?? RIP Nanga cub beautiful… Leopard cub will run free so peaceful ??

Senior Digital Ranger

It is always sad to hear of a loss of a leopard.. It must have been horrifying to have it happen right in front of you. I hope next time Moya will find a safer area to raise her youngsters. Thank you for sharing!

I was so hoping Nanga would raise this cub to adulthood. Sad.

Senior Digital Ranger

Oh this is so sad! Nature is harsh!!!!

That is so sad to hear. I just hope it was quick. The Tsalala Pride and the Avoca Males seem to be the lions responsible for most of the predator-related leopard fatalities recently. There must be something significant about that area of Londolozi for it to be so dangerous for young leopards. Maybe predator density or the type of habitat?

Callum I think just bad luck. Although the riverbed and attending koppies do tend to attract the lions and leopards respectively, so the chances of them running into each tother there would in all likelihood be higher.

I guess if any one area attracts a high number of large predators of several species, there is bound to be competition and conflict.

That’s truly sad, some leopards seem to have too much bad luck…
I visited the Sabi Sands for the first time in July’17 – not at Londolozi, although I hope there’ll be a first time too some time soon! During that time I was lucky to see several leopards including Nanga (Moya) with her cub. You mentioned that she raised this cub to independence – do you have any information about this young female’s whereabouts or if she has been named by any lodge? Any feedback would be appreciated as I’m terribly curious concerning her and there are very few reports of other lodges. (First time in months that this little girl was seen seemed to be at the beginning of February by Nkorho.)
Anyway, I very much enjoy reading the Londolozi blog – your experiences are always described so well I often feel like having seen it by myself!

Hi Michaela,

Thanks for your kind words.
The Nanga young female (daughter of Moya) we still see fairly regularly on Londolozi. She is a bit too young to establish territory, so will most likely be tolerated on her mother’s territory for the next while.I don’t think she’ll have been named by any lodge yet.
We’ll put out an update if we see her soon.
Best regards,

Thank you so much for answering that quickly, James! I’m looking forward to any news, especially about the leopards I’ve personally seen. It’s funny how attached you become to those cats as soon as they step out of the anonymity of the bush by getting a name by those who see them regularly. And I’ll definitely return to the Sabi Sands in the next few years – Londolozi would probably the perfect place to do so, we’ll see… 🙂

Great, look forward to seeing you here!

Loving leopards the way that I do, this is very hard to read. I know it is nature’s way and that rival predators are obviously enemies because they compete for the same food. But looking into that sweet little face and those big blue eyes make it very hard to justify in my mind. Obviously not in the minds of a rival who has something to gain from the cub’s demise. Nature goes on and I have to say, I am happy I was not there for that sighting.

Senior Digital Ranger

Nature is neither merciful nor cruel. It just is. Yet, at times it really is hard on the human heart.

Ahh, the circle of life seems so cruel sometimes. Our human instinct is to champion the little ones, wishing them an adulthood where they can make their own way. I’ve not met Nanga’s cub, but the photo of it immediately drew me in and I am sad for its loss, and the horrific way it happened. We tend not to blink twice if a lion/leopard takes down an impala or like prey, but it’s the loss of these felines that pulls at the heartstrings. I “met” a young male leopard in Singita last year – Monzo, and follow him as best I can. He’s over two now and I hope he’s strong and smart enough to carve out his own territory. One tries not to become attached but ….!

That’s very sad and must have been incredibly upsetting for the guests. We were lucky enough to see the earlier Nanga cub when she was still suckling a year ago last March and again last November when she had become independent from her mother. It was truly magical to watch a leopard growing up and surviving against the odds.

I was dismayed to read this update on the Nanga cub! So sad, though I know it is nature. The Nanga female has always been my favorite….so beautiful. She’s had a rough go of it with cubs and I was so looking forward to seeing this one making it to independence. How much longer will she be able to mate and have cubs? Does that stop at a certain age of the leopard? Thanks. Kim

Hi Kim,
she is only 9 years old so should be able to have cubs again for a good few years, up to about 14/15 yrs old.
If leopards lose their cubs the turnaround time until a new litter can be fairly quick, sometime as short as 4 months, so we certainly anticipate her giving birth again this year.
Best regards

Digital Ranger

Shame. You need to encourage Mum to move house and area!

I always wait with baited breath for news of the beautiful Nanga leopard. I had the life changing experience of spending extended time with her and her two cubs in 2013….her second set of cubs, I believe. She was amazing to watch and so very beautiful. And those blue eyed cubs…so inquisitive and precious. Nanga and her cubs carved out a place in my heart, so this is not the news I wanted to read about. That said, I do so appreciate being kept up to date on my favorite leopard. I’ll pray for better news next time and hope she will be successful in her next attempt at raising cubs. Love her!

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