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Three Rivers 2:2 Female

Three Rivers 2:2 Female

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About the Author

Matt Rochford


Growing up in the small coastal town of Mtunzini afforded Matt a childhood of endless adventures and the freedom to explore the rich diversity of animal and plant life in the area. He thus developed his passion for wildlife at a young age. ...

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on Complexities in Raising Leopard Cubs

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Excellent details of the journey of the leopard cubs. What is their success rate? Thank you Susan

Master Tracker

Super article, lovely photos

Funny how the female cubs leave their mum much earlier than the males. Any reasons known?

Intereting that the presumed fathers play a safegurd role for the young cubs.

These pictures of such special animals always leave me in awe. Mothers must be very clever, besides having great luck, to be able to bring cubs to adulthood. Have you got any news on the Mashaba female?

Hi Francesca. We believe that the Mashaba Female still has both of her cubs but she has been moving them around a lot and so it has been difficult to follow where she has gone with them.

When laid out in writing Matt it certainly brings home just how amazing the mother leopard is if she manages to rear a cub to adulthood!!! The Nkoveni female has certainly learnt from bad experiences just how to do that and I am in awe that her two cubs continue to do so well. A fabulous article with THE most gorgeous photos to match. Thanks Matt.

Matt your story of the leopard cubs and mother’s is a heart warming story, but also alarming as the cubs are always in danger. Mother leopards have there work cut out for then protecting the cubs. Precious little fur balls growing into adult leopards is all we hope to see.

Great post Matt, it is a tough job raising cubs in such a predator-rich environment like the Sabi Sands! Just an idea, but would it be possible to have a post spinning off of this one about the success of Londolozi’s various females?

Thanks @Michael Fleetwood, I’m glad you enjoyed my blog post! It will be interesting to note the successes of each female leopard, and have all the info condensed into one concise post. Thank you for the idea!

Thanks for the article, Matt.
It makes one understand the many dangers a mother leopard and her cubs have to face and fight.
There is nothing more gorgeous than young leopards (and lions and cheetahs), they are just such cute and beautiful animals. I could watch them for hours.

Hi @Christa Blessing, they honestly are the most beautiful animals. I’m glad I was able to shed a bit of light on this for you. Most people don’t quite realise the extent of difficulties in the process of raising cubs, and also how few actually survive.

Well timed story in view of all the leopard cubs born this past year. Raising any animal in the wild is difficult, but more so for the leopards and cheetahs. Both solitary animals with no pride, herd, crash to offer assistance with hunting or caregiving, it is no wonder the mortality rate is so high for these big cats. I’m amazed that both the Ximungwe and Nkoveni females have done such an impressive job of raising their cubs to the one plus year point. They’re not independent yet but they certainly have a good chance! Fingers crossed for both the new leopard mothers!

@Denise Vouri, yes it is quite incredible considering both those females have only raised one cub each into independence. Fingers crossed!

Matt, great lesson for me on how mother leopards raise their cubs. Thanks!

Thanks Matt, lovely blog. Wouldn’t the mother walk away rather than the cubs? – Nkoveni must be exhausted hunting for her 2 daughters as well as herself , while they’re having a wonderful time playing. They must be close to the age when Nhlanguleni left Finfoot and Nkuwa to fend for themselves.

Hi @Suzanne Gibson, yes that’s correct. I suppose it’s more a mutual acceptance of eachother’s stage in their lives. It is a transition phase where they spend less and less time together. This eventually ensures that the young leopards find comfort in their own ability to look after themselves.

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