Many of you would have noticed a new face popping up in our posts over the last few weeks; it seems that it’s a face that many of you are familiar with from Safari Live and other platforms; the Hosana male leopard.
First found in the northern reaches of Londolozi, which makes sense as that’s the direction he drifted in from, he was identified initially as “that unknown 3:3 male”.
The Hosana male started moving onto Londolozi in mid 2018.
As many young male leopards do, he spent his first while in this new area drifting around in seemingly aimless movements, even turning up at the Nhlanguleni female’s densite, causing us a few nervous moments. Thankfully we can report that the cubs we were scared he might kill are both alive and well.
From there he moved back to the northern side of the Sand River, where he was seen a couple of times in the vicinity of Ximpalapala Koppie. Interestingly enough, another young male was often to be found close by; the Tamba male. Apparently before they became independent they were also regularly seen in close proximity. Technically speaking the Hosana male is the Tamba male’s uncle. The Hosana male was born to the Karula female while the Tamba male is her grandson through a different mother. Does that make sense?
Whilst we were hoping both young males would hang around – although it seemed unlikely given how frequently the area is patrolled by the massive Anderson male – only the Hosana male has continued to be seen regularly, right in the central regions of the north. So location-specific was he for awhile, that over the course of a few days he hoisted three different kills in the same Jackalberry tree; two impalas and an nyala!
Unofficially the biggest leopard in the Sabi Sands, the Anderson male is an absolutely enormous individual in north western Londolozi.
The territorial Anderson male is apparently not the father of the Hosana male (although without genetic sampling this is extremely difficult to say for sure, as females will venture far outside their territories to mate with neighbouring males), so it is surprising that this young intruder has remained in the area for over a month now, unless the Hosana male’s mother (Karula female) did mate with him. The Anderson male has a large territory, so maybe a new male could slide around under the radar for awhile.
So far the bulk of the new male’s movements have been confined to the area around the Manyelethi River, although he has popped up further afield as well.
Given that he doesn’t hold territory that he needs to patrol, the area he has been moving in is still relatively small, and sightings have been as consistent as we could have hoped. Whilst we doubt his presence will be tolerated by the Anderson male for the rest of the year, while he’s still here we definitely intend to make the most of it, and will continue to look for him every chance we get!