About the Author

Chris Taylor

Ranger

Chris was born and raised in the Kwa-Zulu/Natal Midlands where his family inspired his early passion for the natural world. Exploring Southern Africa as he grew up, this passion was allowed to develop and his curiosity to expand. After high school, Chris spent ...

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22 Comments

on The Rise of the Flat Rock Male Leopard

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Andrew and Daniel Bolnick
Digital Tracker

Most impressed with the Flat Rock Male. Taking what he wants. Dominance does rule. By the way the Robson’s male was one good looking leopard. please keep us updated. This sounds like changing times ahead.

Laura Eberly
Digital Ranger

Gorgeous Leopard!! We saw him as a cub in 2014. Amazing how he has grown!

Cheung Yc
Digital Ranger

Nice story

Darlene Knott
Digital Tracker

Very interesting! I love the dynamics of the leopard population, except for the killing of cubs, which I understand is an important step. 😢 The Flat Rock male is an impressive sight. He obviously knows what he is doing. More power to him!

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

Chris, taking what he wants, one good looking leopard – I am impressed by the Flat Rock Male🤗

Lisa Antell
Explorer

We saw Flat Rock in early August 2019 at dusk in the river bed on a Nyala carcass WITH Nhulanguleni and both Young Females!! All 4 together and quite peaceable. Flat Rock came in carefully to where one of the young girls was feeding on the ground,and gently pulled the carcass away from her…. no aggression or teeth. She relinquished her spot and went close by to groom and rest. Her sister was sleeping nearby as was Nhulanguleni. Flat Rock fed for awhile and then dragged and hoisted the carcass into a big tree. He came down from the tree and stayed nearby. Almost immediately one hyena arrived and then another. All 3 females zipped up into trees….two into the same tree as the carcass and one in an adjacent tree. Flat Rock padded away. Nhulanguleni fed. One youngster draped herself and slept. Then the other young girl started feeding after her mother was done and draped nearby. We left as full dark fell. What a stupendous leopard family dinner time sighting! Flat Rock was calm, tolerant, and a good daddy. It was like he hoisted the carcass for the family knowing that the hyenas would be invading shortly! I was so impressed by him and hope that he will be dominant and successful for a long long time!

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Sounds like an amazing afternoon and evening spent with those animals. What a privilege!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Thanks Chris for keeping us updated on the shift of territory dominance within Londolozi’s leopard population. I find it curious that after the death of the Robson male, the Inyathini male didn’t move to take over more territory. Seems the Tortoise Pan male could have moved in, but chose to go south. The creation of leopards’ territories is fascinating to me, given they have no maps to follow. Looking forward to more updates.

When the Robson male died in late 2016, Inyathini was still in the southern edges of Londolozi, and the Piva male (who was between Robson and Inyathini) expanded his territory tooking over the southern parts of the Robson male’s territory not taken over by Flat Rock. When the Piva male died in August 2017, Inyathini expanded his territory northwards while Flat Rock expanded eastwards

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

Great story of the evolution of Flat Rock. We were visiting when he began to assert himself in 2017 & I was so sad when he killed the 2 cubs of Nkoveni. He’s emerged as quite a powerful male. Thanks for the history lesson, Chris!

Jen Lum
Digital Ranger

The concise thoroughness of this compilation about the “Flat Rock Male” is so enriching and edifying. Being a senior who has returned back to college, I love receiving the rangers daily stories (writings) as it a wonderful “get a-away” from the norm of my academic studies, while at the same time, the blogs are so inspiring upon all that you guys share! The pictures compliment the story that makes one want to know and learn more. – Just brilliant!

Sean De
Explorer

Heart warming to see this gorgeous boy establish himself on Londolozi. Does anyone know his lineage?

Chris Taylor
Ranger

He was born to the Porcupine female in the Tinga concession in the Kruger National Park in 2014, just south of the Sabi Sands and we suspect his father was the Mbavala male.

Phil Schultz
Senior Digital Ranger

I always enjoy these leopard and lion political updates, but especially as another visit to Londolozi slowly approaches as I note the goings on. Recognized Grant’s jumping leopard photo immediately as he told us it was his favorite photo he had ever taken when he guided us in 2018. Was fortunate enough to get a glimpse of the sneaky Anderson Male in the dry Sand River basin that year as well, still considered the leopard king at the time. Will be monitoring as always (and taking notes) as my next visit approaches

Mary Pollard
Explorer

a wonderful success rate for the flat Rock male, what a handsome young man.
Mary and Julie

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Saw Flat Rock in 2017 and again in 2019. His incredible growth and strength were definitely noticeable.

Has Anderson been confirmed dead (assumed) or is he still listed as missing?

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Hi Earline, we have recently (within the last day or so) received reports from the northern sector of the Sabi Sands that he has in fact died. I am sure we will release a more official post on it in the next week or two once we know the definite details.

Michael Fleetwood
Senior Digital Ranger

Hi Chris, is there a blog article about the naming of the Finfoot and Nkhuwa females I could learn which one is which? Also wondering if the Leopards of Londolozi website will be updated to include them for future reference?

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Hi Michael, these young females have very recently been named and a post will be released soon on the thinking behind the names and how exactly to distinguish between them.

Lisa Antell
Explorer

Thanks Chris. I have lots of photos of them and would also like to have that ID info. I also have photos of Plaque Rock female after interaction with Kunyuma so want to know her ID features.

Flat Rock is magnificent and possibly our current favourite! We also recently had a great sighting of the White Dam Male (?) and were fortunate to spend time observing his movements – looking forward through your excellent blogs, to following his progress. Thank you for sharing these brilliant photos which bring back the best memories.

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