Involved Leopards

Inyathini 3:3 Male

Inyathini 3:3 Male

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Ndzanzeni 4:3 Female

Ndzanzeni 4:3 Female

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About the Author

Kyle Gordon

Contributor

Kyle was born and raised in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. His childhood was spent scurrying barefooted along the banks of various rivers and dams, fishing rod ever-in-hand, enjoying the beauty and freedom of outdoors. Kyle obtained a degree in construction from UCT ...

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42 Comments

on A Leopard Rises Out Of The Ashes

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Marc Grawunder
Explorer

Wow,now that’s quite a surprise to see the Inyathini male again after all this time! Amazing that the guy is still out there and of course I’m glad that the Ndzandzeni’ cubs survived the interaction.

Andrea and his ancestors! What a privilege to have been in the Landrover with you and Prof that morning. An extraordinary sighting and an enormously rewarding drive.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

A great sighting made all the more rewarding by having had to work hard for it. You know the story well, Jono!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

How exciting Kyle to not only have spotted the Ndzandzeni female, but the elusive Inyathini as well – a real bonus. I believe he is the father of the Tortoise Pan male, and became more nomadic when his son became independent. He looks quite good for his age and suspect he has mastered stealing kills from other leopards, an easy way to get a meal.
The Tortoise Pan male was the first leopard I saw in Londolozi, and it seems he’s moved on to another reserve. Wonderful images, fantastic sighting, and good to know patience/experience brings results.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

The Tortoise Pan male has indeed made his way a little bit further north where I believe he has established a goodly sized territory and is doing well! The Inyathini male has definitely found a way to keep going and looks in very good health despite his age.

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Loved the way that Andreas ancestors came to the rescue …and what a bonus to meet not one but two of the ‘oldies’ of Londolozi in one sitting!! Thrilled to hear too the the Ndzandzeni females cubs are still very much alive. Long may their lineage survive 🙏🏻. Ive become very attached to all the Londo Leopards and lions, as with the daily accounts of their lives through the blog, it’s impossible not to be drawn in and anxious for their welfare.😁..thanks Kyle

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Two classic leopards in one sighting!! Unfortunately since this blog was written, the Ndzandzeni female has lost a cub but the surviving cub is a female so there is still a chance!

William Paynter
Senior Digital Ranger

Kyle, thanks for a great story and adventure. Seeing the Inyathini male again was a real treat for all. Glad both cubs are still alive.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hi Kyle I think this is my favourite blog of the year! The last descendant of the Mother Leopard and her cubs still alive and kicking it already is a top news but… wasn’t the inhiatini male supposed to be dead? How wonderful to see him again, and the fact that all four leopards were fine, all in the same area, are living witnesses of those fantastic creatures resilience… it is sad that in spite od Londolozi conservation there is only one female from the Mother leopard’s lineage but maybe her cubs will keep it going.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thank you, Francesca, I appreciate that! Unfortunately, one of the cubs has since been lost but the survivor is a female and so will carry the Mother’s lineage another generation further if she survives the next half-year or so!

Jos Smulders
Explorer

Thanks for the update . Always nice,to get some good news ,when it comes to cubs.

Suzanne Gibson
Guest contributor

Wonderful blog, Kyle; Ndzanzeni is my no1 favourite, having first seen her as a 4 week old cub, then suckling Tortoise Pan 4 years later! If I’m lucky enough to see her and her cubs next week, I would be ecstatic. Are her cubs still at risk from Inyathini, now he’s nomadic and elderly?

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Hi Suzanne!! It was fun to go through your photos the last time you were here. The cub (unfortunately only one left now) may be at risk but more likely fro younger marauding males in the area and possibly the Ntsumi female who is rivalling the Ndzandzeni female for dominance over that area.

Kat Ddio
Explorer

I saw the Inyathini male in 2019 and immediately fell in love with his grizzled face – what a story he could tell. So happy to hear that he still survives, and that the Ndandzeni female and cubs are still doing well.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Definitely one of my favourite leopards. So much character!!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Kyle, What a great story! You and the team persevered and it was all worth it. We love hearing stories about the rangers and trackers teaming up on a “mission”. Congratulations to all. Finding the Inyathini was a super bonus. It’s hopeful news that the cubs are doing well too. Hoping to keep the “Mother Leopard’s” lineage intact. Please send our best to Andrea!

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

It was a very special sighting for sure! I’ll send Andrea your best.

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Disappointes not seeing the Inyathini male on our trip in July–actually believed the worst. Thanks for the good news!

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

Welcome back, Inyathini! It’s so good to see those notched ears and sneer-like mouth after so long. And it’s also nice to that the cubs are safe!

Marcia Parker
Senior Digital Ranger

Great post, great photos!
I probably would fail at that detached, it’s nature/wild point of view…

Mj Bradley
Senior Digital Ranger

Wow, Inyathini, the leopard who rose from the ashes! Glad to know the Ndzanzeni female is keeping those little ones safe. Thank you for sharing your little piece of paradise!

Jutta Mielke Nestle
Guest contributor

wonderful story. Inyathini still alive, superb. And the pic of mother and cub with nose on nose, wow, cool. I can understand, that are emotions pure.

Stephen Torgesen
Explorer

It’s great to hear the Inyathini leopard is still alive. I image he is quite old for a male leopard. Do you think he may be the father of the Ndzandzini’s cubs? Speaking of older leopards is the Mashaba leopard still around?

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

It is a definite possibility, Stephen, but more likely a younger male. Perhaps the Nweti male who is dominant over that area?

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Great storytelling!!! And another great discovery of the last surviving independent female descendant of the original Mother Leopard. Amazing! We felt like we were there with you in the vehicle … and the photographs of the leopards were terrific! You really have the ability to tell a compellingly good story! Also appreciated the tip of the hat to JV and Elmon’s pioneering efforts to bring Londolozi’s leopards into the spotlight.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Hi Bob and Lucie! Thank you so much for that, I’m glad you enjoyed it. And can’t wait to have you guys back in the saddle next year. It is June, hey? Hopefully, he’ll stick around so you can see him then. That male is so charismatic and photographing him is such a treat.

Valmai Vorster
Digital Tracker

Kyle that was an amazing day you all had and tracking the Ndzanzeni female and so relieved to hear that both cubs are alive and well. I’m sure you Rangers and Trackers get emotional when see the little cubs, seeing then grow day by day and then realize that they are gone, or killed. My goodness I would not be able to handle that, but you do and that is what makes you Rangers and Trackers so special. The male leopard Inyathini males is old now and so glad he made an appearance, so all could see him once again. Yes J.V. and Elmon did extraordinary work tracking the mother leopard and watching her every move. Londolozi is a leopard paradise.

Al Kaiser
Guest contributor

Fantastic! I have so many wonderful sightings with the Inyathini male. If only he could tell us he’s been up to!!

Leonie De Young
Digital Tracker

A nice blog Kyle and glad you were all successful in your sighting – with a big bonus included. Great the cubs are still around and pray they will make it to adulthood. Can’t beat your trackers – they are tops. Thanks for sharing. Love all the pics.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thanks Leonie!

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

How wonderful that the cubs survived. As you wrote, it’s nature and the wild and animals get killed all the time. But leopard cubs are just so very special and their relationship with their mothers is so amazing that it is really sad if cubs get killed.

Michael Fleetwood
Digital Tracker

Hi Kyle! Great recollection of this sighting! Hasn’t the Ndzanzeni Female lost the male cub since this or is this a recent sighting? Thanks again!

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Hi Michael, sorry for the late reply. No, this blog is from a few weeks back and as you and I discussed at one point in the interim, the male has indeed been lost, unfortunately. But the female is still going strong so the lineage may continue on!

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

How can you NOT become attached? It is worth getting attached to these glorious cats! And I love seeing an older male leopard doing well, against the odds…….we still hope that our old Duke, Tingana, is alive and well somewhere….and that we see him again sometime…….

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Where is Tingana dominant, Lisa? I’ve not really explored the lineages and leopards on the surrounding reserves!

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

Tingana was the dominant male on Djuma for many years and a beloved favorite of WildEarth fans. He has been aging for awhile now and slowly losing his dominance. Last sighting on live drive was August 20 2021 and last sighting anywhere was on Mala Mala on August 29th. We miss him terribly.

Jennifer Ridgewell
Senior Digital Ranger

Ndanzeni was No 1 Leopard we saw on our much anticipated, very first visit to Londolozi – she is still beautiful and hope the royal lineage will survive. What sightings you guys had and thanks to Andrea’s relatives! Another exciting story blog and such a special photo of the reunion. Thank you for sharing.

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

And here I must note that yes, we are supposed to be merely passive observers and accept that this is the wild and this kind of thing does happen all the time… But it’s hard to not let some part of you become attached, especially after watching 2 cubs survive their first 9 months of life, against all the odds. They’ve still a long way to go, sure, but I know I’m going to be keeping a keen eye on them all the way through.” Hi Kyle. Why can’t you guys get attached? It is natural to have feelings for people and animals. What is actually so WRONG? You guys cannot go through life like robots NOT having feelings for the wonderful animals you are seeing. Well, I don’t see why not. Wendy M

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Hi Wendy, I guess what I mean is that, emotionally, it is safer to not get too attached as this world is very raw and animals, especially cubs, are so vulnerable and may be lost at any point! But I agree, you just can’t not.

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Amazing, I can’t believe Inyathini is still alive!! Proof of how leopards can always surprise you!

Paul Buchanan
Explorer

Excellent description! Very well-written! I especially enjoyed the descriptions of both older leopards.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thanks so much, Paul!

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