About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

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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28 Comments

on New Male Leopard in the North

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

It is amazing that he walked so far. It must have been over several months. Imagine all the way from Croc bridge ti Orpen, Ngala, Manyelethi and now the north of Londolozi. That must be around 200 kilometeres. Maybe a bit less if it was as the crow flies.

Mike Ryan
Explorer

Hi James is this Anderson territory, has he been seen recently. Thanks

Joan Schmiidt
Senior Digital Ranger

James, a wonder blog. Hope the Hukumri leopard stays – but will that result in killing another leopard?

Ian Hall
Digital Tracker

Ngala is a very long way from Londolozi, it shows the degree of scientific tracking of individual leopards that he can be identified so efficiently. Hopefully he will add to the gene pool

Gemma Kemps
Digital Ranger

James- The Huk is my favorite leopard. He has such an awe about him. His eyes are so memorizing. May I wish you to see him and be just as amazed as I am. Best of Luck 👍🙂

Victoria Auchincloss
Senior Digital Ranger

Is it my imagination or is the leopard population growing. I know that I have not seen all of them, but in January we were with Bruce and Robert when we spotted what turned out to be a new young leopard. Now we have another new one and this is very exciting. Is there enough room for all of them? Hope we don’t lose any more cubs or adults! Victoria

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Victoria,
The leopard population does fluctuate a little bit over the years, and right now it is at a peak, as a number of young leopards that are either near-or recently independent are still inhabiting the property. Young vagrant males in particular have been seen in higher numbers than usual over the past 6 months, and in the young female category we have the Tamboti young female, Ingrid Dam young female, Nhlanguleni young females and Nkoveni young females all starting to vie for space…
It’s certainly an amazing time to be viewing leopards at Londolozi!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

What about the Ximungwe female? Is she not vying for space as well as the other named females or is she too young?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Denise,
She has already established territory in the south-central parts of Londolozi…

Tom Rawles
Guest contributor

I have a question. How can you state so definitely that a male leopard is the son of another specific male when Chris Taylor, in yesterday’s blog, said the females will mate with as many males as possible in order to trick the males into thinking her cubs are theirs. If the mating males only think the male cub is his, and therefore let it live, how do you know it is? Perhaps you’re speaking territorially and not genetically. I am confused and would love an explanation or insight for further thought. Thank you.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Tom,

Good question. The truth is we can’t state it for sure; we go on probability based on who we observe the female mating with. Since the territorial leopards here are viewed fairly consistently, we generally have a good idea which leopard has been mating with which, as they normally pair up for a number of days. If the Inyathini male’s territory fully encompasses the Ximungwe female’s territory for instance, which it essentially does, we can deem it very likely that he is the father, although we can only be sure through genetic testing.

James, does Londolozi participate in the Panthera DNA project?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Michael,
Yes we do.

Bob & Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Really interesting story of the journey followed by this newest leopard. It sounds like the Ranger team shares life stories/biographies with the neighboring lodges to identify and track these guys. Hopefully this leopard will hang around and expand our leopard population and gene pool. Are these kind of newcomers typically habituated to vehicles?

When Hukumuri first appeared in the northern Sabi Sands in 2017, he was unrelaxed around the vehicles but after several months of consistent viewing, he was just as relaxed as a leopard born in the Sabi Sands. He’s a perfectly relaxed leopard now

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Well he certainly has a commanding presence! I would hate to see a confrontation between him and the Tortoise Pan male if he chooses to move further south. I suppose the Anderson, Inyathini and Flat Rock males wouldn’t welcome him with open paws…..so perhaps he takes a look at the territory and decides to walk elsewhere. He has covered a lot of ground since he was born, illustrating his adventuress nature. Hope one of you sees him soon.

Awesome blog entry on Hukumuri and always love these dynamics blog entries (whether it be lion or leopard or any animal) James! His story is truly incredible and it is extremely fascinating to see he is now pushing even more into Londolozi. He was seen in the northern Sabi Sands several months ago in a sighting with the Anderson Male and managed to hold his own. He was seen mating with Moya/Nanga Female a month or so ago and has (presumably) sired cubs with both Xidulu (daughter of the Ingrid Dam Female from 2014) and Tiyani, with Xidulu losing one of her cubs to Moya/Nanga not that long ago. Would be extremely interesting if he began to mate with some of the established females on Londolozi as well. With the Anderson Male approaching 11, and despite his size, it seems that Hukumuri is giving him more trouble than first thought?

Michael & Terri Klauber
Digital Tracker

James, There is never a dull moment at Londolozi. That is one really solid looking male for sure. An wow, he has come a long way! How do you track a leopard like that all the way back to Kreuger?

Mj Bradley
Senior Digital Ranger

There are those who are very good at researching and finding photographs.. He was seen in 2014/15 by the Gomondwane area (Crocodile Bridge) in the Kruger Park. The followed his movements by finding photos of him at certain times during his life and travels. The estimate that he is probably 6 or 7 yrs old based upon the early photos of him. His father is thought to be the Gomondwane Male whose territory Hukumuri was in when he was growing up. Hope this helps

Michael & Terri Klauber
Digital Tracker

MJ, That is pretty incredible! Is there a central site for you all to research or are there Rangers who post in a special “Rangers Only” site! 😉

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Is this Hukumuri Male the same leopard that has been filmed on Djuma for Safari Live?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

I assume so Callum

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Just confirmed it while watching Safari Live now!!

Wendy Macnicol
Senior Digital Ranger

What a guy! Powerful is what I see. Quite magnificent in fact. Hope he HAS come to stay. How old would this new boy be roughly? Any way of telling? He is going to be another one of my Screensavers! Thank you, James. Wendy M

Wendy based on photos found of him in 2014 and 2015, he is believed to be about six-years old this year (estimated to be born in 2013)

Mj Bradley
Senior Digital Ranger

Indeed, Hukumuri is an amazing leopard.. We have been fortunate to have him in the Nothern Sabi Sands for a number of years.. His habit of letting his tongue hang out and his overall look makes him a favorite among many. He is called our Gangster by a lot of those who view him. He may not be the largest leopard around but mighty things sometimes come in smaller packaging.. Thank you for the write up of Hukumuri!

Laszlo Toth
Explorer

Does Hukumuri male have any connection to the Hukumuri female? (I guess not!)
Hukumuri female was born in Nov 2008 to Shangwa female in the west, she is currently residing in Ottawa.
Isn’t it confusing to name a female and a male with the same name?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Laszlo,
I don’t know about any connection I’m afraid to say.
Yes it can get confusing every now and then, which is why when a new name is chosen for a leopard, an attempt is usually made to pick a name that hasn’t been used before, mainly to simplify things for Panthera, who do a lot of centralised research on leopards in the area.

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