Involved Leopards

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

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Jess Shillaw

Guest contributor

Jess was born in Kwazulu/Natal but grew up in Cape Town. Having an innate love for all things wild but getting to spend little time in the bush while growing up, she headed straight for the Lowveld after school. She completed a guiding ...

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on An Unexpected Leap of Leopards

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Marc Grawunder
Senior Digital Ranger

Awesome footage,thanks for sharing.

Suzanne Gibson
Master Tracker

What a fabulous sighting, how lucky you were! – great photos.
Any idea as to why she returned to the old den?

Jess Shillaw
Guest contributor

Hi Suzanne, often mother leopards will rotate their dens. The Nhlanguleni Female often moves her cubs from this rocky area into the river to avoid them being detected.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

What a wonderful sighting! Thanks a lot, Austin for sharing the fantastic photos and Jess, for the great video.
I would never have assumed that such tiny cubs can cross a river. Luckily the little one did not drown. What do you think: Would she have rescued it from the water if there had been a danger of drowning?

Jess Shillaw
Guest contributor

Hi Christa, leopard cubs do know how to swim although they might not be strong enough to swim against a strong flowing river but I am sure she would of tried to save it if she thought it was in danger.

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Great pictures Jess, thanks for sharing today.

Irene Henkes
Digital Tracker

Oh, these little ones always capture our hearts……………. thank you very much Jill!

Chelsea Allard
Master Tracker

It must have been nerve wracking to watch those little cubs cross the river! Glad they’re still safe and sound.

Mary Beth Wheeler
Master Tracker

Great video, Jess, and beautiful stills by the Chens! I’m so happy that both cubs are alive and thriving.

Debra Matott
Senior Digital Ranger

Thank you to the Chen’s for sharing their fantastic photos! What a memorable trip for them!

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Jess the cubs are so small still and yet they are able to go where Mommy wants them to go, even through the water. So very precious to see them. Thank you to your guests for sharing the foto’s with us, it is very special to see leopard cubs.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Amazing gift today! There’s nothing as beautiful and irresistible as baby leopards. I was totally smitten by the suckling one but all the pictures and the video are memorable! Great mama.

Michael Fleetwood
Master Tracker

What a riveting sighting Jess! Glad she is doing so well with this litter thus far! Any idea of the sexes of the cubs and would the Senegal Bush Male be the potential father? This is the history of litters I have for her and I know I am missing some but am having trouble with details since the last one I have recorded.

First Litter: Believed to have been fathered by the Robson’s 4:4 Male
Born: November 2015
Cubs born: 3
Cubs died: 3; 1 disappeared early, 2 others killed at a year old by the Flat Rock Male

Second Litter: Seen mating with the Anderson Male and Flat Rock Male
Born: October 2017
Cubs born: 1 known
Cubs died: 1

Third Litter: Suspected to be fathered by the Flat Rock Male, possibly the Anderson Male
Born: March 2018
Cubs born: 2 females; named the Nkuwa Female and Finfoot Female
Cubs died: None

Fourth Litter: Seen mating with the Flat Rock Male
Born: Late December 2019
Cubs born: 2 cubs, sexes unknown
Cubs died: Both;

Fifth Litter: Seen mating with the Flat Rock Male, possibly Kunyuma/Senegal Bush Male
Born: Approx. Late June 2020
Cubs born: ?

Jess Shillaw
Guest contributor

Hi Michael, we did see her mate with the Senegal Bush male before and now that he has shifted his territory further west into her territory, it is possible that he is the father of these cubs. I know that at least one 0f the cubs is a female but I am not sure on the other cub as I have not had a good look.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

What a fantastic sighting! Luckily you had guests with cameras that were able to capture these moments with Nhlanguleni and her cubs on the move. Your video was a great way to end your story. It’s a shame that your battery died, but you’d have had the memories that is just as special.

Lisa Antell
Master Tracker

Tiny sweet little cubbies! The river crossing must have been a bit tense. Yikes! They are so little to be doing water crossings. But thankfully alls well that ends well!

Barbara Wallace
Senior Digital Ranger

Fabulous photos by Austin Chen! And your iPhone video was great too Jess! So beautiful, all of it.

Darlene Knott
Master Tracker

Loved this story of your day and the photos by your guests! Leopards are my favorite and how can you not adore those cubs???

Callum Evans
Master Tracker

That must have been incredible to witness!!!

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