The male leopard dynamics continue to keep us guessing.
The Anderson male, still massive, has somehow fallen off the top of the pile, and doesn’t appear to have the same level of control over his territory that he once did. Incursions from the Flat Rock, Hosana and Hukumuri males have seen the Anderson male keep a low profile for the last few months, and sightings of him have been inconsistent, to say the least.
The Hosana male has been spending time along the northern reaches of the Manyelethi riverbed, not scent-marking much, but still very interested in who has passed by, judging by the amount of flehmen grimacing he has been doing.
The question we are all asking is how long will the Anderson male still be a factor in the north? He was once being seen well south of the Sand River, but these days it is the Flat Rock male who has pushed right back into what used to be the central reaches of the Anderson male’s territory. The Hukumuri male – who I have yet to even see! – has already lost an eye and had one ear torn to pieces during his movements into the northern parts of our reserve. We aren’t able to accurately state how he received his injuries, but the evidence does point to altercations with other male leopard(s).
There are currently no small cubs in the north, so thankfully there aren’t any smaller lives at stake; the Ingrid Dam appears to have lost her last cub, but the Nanga female is apparently pregnant.
We’ll run a full leopard update next week, and we’ve got an amazing interaction between the Anderson and Hosana males to show you video footage of, so make sure you check back in next Monday or Tuesday…