The Nkoveni female has been featuring prominently in Londolozi’s sightings book of late, with the open bush conditions that still persist making tracking easier and leopards slightly more visible. Her localised movements close to the Londolozi Camps have resulted in a wide variety of sightings, with guests seeing her and her cub from the decks of their chalets, rangers bumping into her on their way to the airstrip, and the consistent call of monkeys during the day announcing that once again she is on the prowl.
A few weeks ago we ran a feel-good photographic post by Grant Rodewjik that showcased 5 of his favourite photos from a sighting of the mother leopard and her cub, and we thought we’d repeat that with some of ranger Guy Brunskill’s pictures. With the amount these two leopards have been seen recently, this may well develop into a weekly series…
A young female that lives to the east and south of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.
From their expressions one might assume that this rough activity is more serious than it is. I suppose it is quite serious business, as it is essentially practice for the young leopard, and may go a long way towards determining how successful an adult she becomes.
A swipe by the mother necessitates a hasty evasive leap by the cub!
Although lethal claws are often out during fights like this, the leopards will always be careful not to inflict proper injuries on each other, even though it looks like one of them could lose an eye at any second.
The cub hides in a thicket, waiting for an opportunity to pounce on its mother. IN all likelihood the mother knew exactly where the cub was, but was simply playing along. Mother leopards and lions can be tremendously indulgent with their offspring.
A duck by the Nkoveni female sends the cub flying over her head.
And a 6th picture just for luck: a huge leap by the cub onto its mother. The cub is getting larger by the day, and play-fights are likely to start becoming more and more serious as the weeks go by, as the two leopards become more evenly matched in size and strength.