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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19 Comments

on Has the Hukumuri Male Lost an Eye?

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

They eye don’t look good, but as you say James they are resilient and nature always heal itself.

Vanessa Dean
Explorer

Fingers cross he makes a full recovery!

Phil Schultz
Explorer

Interesting development about a long-raging leopard I’ve not only seen Londolozi’s blog write about in the past, but who occasionally appears on Safari Live. The lives of leopards seem so difficult to me sometimes to the point that I wonder why their species has never evolved to lion or hyena level pride/pack hunting existences. I have the same question about grizzly bears in my own country as both bears and leopards seem to display some level of intelligence above the animal-norm when you observe them and look into their eyes. Always enjoy reading your leopard posts James. Admittedly recently, I’ve quite selfishly been scanning them for mentions of leopards I’ve sighted during my stays at Londolozi as my profile is stuck on 4 out of 5 leopards sighted :). I understand my sighting of the Nweti leopard is a rare visitor off concession, and that the same can be said of the Mokhotini male who for all I know isn’t seen any more around Londolozi. I have my hopes pinned on the Makomsava female one day making an appearance. Otherwise, I just might have to visit again.

Gemma Kemps
Digital Ranger

The Huk is an awesome cat. I hope his eye heals well so that he may someday hold a territory. Him and Hosana are really giving The Anderson male a run for his territory. These two young male cats are trying to find their place in the leopard world. I can’t wait to see what sticks.

Vin Beni
Digital Tracker

It’s hard to imagine enduring such trauma while continuing daily life in the wild.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

A few days ago a photo was posted of the Nkoveni female and her cub passing by the Londolozi sign that gave pause for thought as a wound was seen on mama leopard’s left back leg…. now Hukumuri has an eye injury. So, this begs the question, are more established leopards showing their territorial nature by striking out to those invading their space or sneaking in to steal a kill?! Looking forward to the update on this male.

Wendy Macnicol
Senior Digital Ranger

So sorry about the eye. It really looks horrible. However – as you say, James – animals are amazing the way they heal. Wild animals seem to be particularly resilient regarding illness or injury. Thanks for the pics and article. Wendy M

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

Always a concern when wildlife possibly loses a eye. I remember the Anderson male and like you, was pleasanty surprised he healed. Wishing the same again.

Victoria Auchincloss
Senior Digital Ranger

I certainly hope his eye will completely. He is a handsome leopard and a great addition to the Londolozi family. Victoria

Joan Schmiidt
Digital Tracker

James, I hope the leopard appears more injured than necessary. I hope he will heal like the Anderson male.

Hi James, glad to see an update on Hukumuri’s eye. Tristan Dicks of WildEarth Tv spoke with some eye experts he knew or had a connection to who said the prognosis doesn’t appear to be good as from what he told us the damage is most likely to the cornea and eye itself. He may be able to give you more details but the experts said if it were a human there is little chance they’d keep any vision in the eye, but said they don’t know what exactly will happen with an animal, though the prognosis doesn’t look good.

Bob & Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

It’s a tough life in the bush. Fingers crossed that this guy heals before something else discovers his problem.

Barbara Maxwell
Explorer

Thanks for the information! It is remarkable, theability these animals have, to come back from horrendous injuries. Anyone who has ever been seriously poked in the eye will know how much the Huk must be hurting. How do they cope with such pain?

Michael & Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

James, That looks pretty serious. That looks like one serious predator – the wound probably won’t slow him down though!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Is it possible it was caused by a prey animal, like a warthog?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Certainly possible…

Barbara Maxwell
Explorer

D.H. Lawrence wrote a poem that I think of when I see these beautiful animals injured or sick.

“Self Pity”
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.
A small bird will fall frozen from a bough
Without ever having felt sorry for itself.

I don’t know how Hukumuri is able to tolerate the pain that eye most certainly is causing him. I saw a zebra the other day with what was either a fracture or dislocation of its left hip. How do they function with injuries that would have you or me in hospital on pain meds? However they do it, they do it as if it is just life going on. Which I suppose it is.

Yes, I do hope that he will recover from this injury. Losing an eye seems to be one of the worst things to happen to any living creature. Let’s hope for the best.

Brian Love
Explorer

The reply I got from Arathusa where he was sighted on 4th of July:
Arathusa to a question about his eye: All his good and healing well thank you
Myself: Healing could mean a number of things such as it will not get infected and endanger his life… Did it look like he will retain sight in that eye? Thanks
Arathusa: Hallo Brian, the rangers advised that he’s hunting without issues, so it does not look like his eyesight has been impacted.

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