Involved Leopards

Plaque Rock 3:3 Female

Plaque Rock 3:3 Female

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Senegal Bush 3:3 Male

Senegal Bush 3:3 Male

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Hosana 3:3 Male

Hosana 3:3 Male

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Ximungwe 5:3 Female

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

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About the Author

Kirst Joscelyne


At less than a year old, Kirst went to her family’s hut in the Greater Kruger National Park, and has been fortunate enough to continue to go there ever since. Sharing a passion for the bush with her family, led to countless trips ...

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on A Predators Way of Life- How Do We Deal With It?

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As a kid, I too felt such empathy and devastation watching a cheetah kill an impala on a nature documentary, but watching wild dogs hunting impala right in front of me had me excited with the hopes they would be successful. It was a strange contrast, but context certainly makes a difference.

I noticed the Hosana male is marked as deceased this year. Do you know what happened to him?

Great blog Kirst, very well written and thoughtful. I guess we also identify more with predators as we are predators ourselves, though it is very rare we do the killing ourselves, making it a much more “sanitised” process.
( By the way, I think Tortoise Pan also killed a litter of Mashaba’s about 3 years ago?)

FYI, If I am not mistaken, Hosana was killed early this year by an anti poaching team, in a very sad but unavoidable encounter. It was on Wild Earth.

A very thought provoking blog. I can understand what you are saying and where you are coming from however I don’t think I could watch a predator stalk and kill it’s prey and be pragmatic about it. I’m always happy when the prey escapes in documentaries but at the same time feel for the predator who walks away still hungry. To survive they need to eat and to eat they need to kill. As you say wilderness and wildlife is all about survival.

Lions are especially interesting on such topics. The Cam Pan males that killed the Tsalala female are not easy to forget, I guess. It is a matter of more factors, such as the rarity of the species, the fact that they are apex predators and have a complex society. I remember the Mapogo and Majingilane killing other lions more or less easily and protect their pride. Another death that is mich harder to digest is the Hosana male, as it was caused by humans. Right or wrong it is a symbol of a species we put too strict boundaries upon, like brown bears in Europe…

A very thoughtful and insightful blog, Kirst. People have often asked me how can I stomach seeing an animal lose its life to another while on safari. I can only say that I feel privileged to be in their world for a time, that I know I’m the intruder and this is what’s necessary for one animal to live. I’ve not said this as well as you have but it’s all about nature and instinct. Thank you for your thoughts.

You have perfectly described the range of emotions I felt observing a one hour stalking and kill of an impala by a mother cheetah at our very first day on safari. The horror was intense, but we quickly learned the cycle of life aspect, as she summoned her 2 baby cubs to feed.

Kirst, perhaps your best and most thoughtful dissertation yet. Really interesting and thought provoking! Truly you have the benefit of watching Mother Nature as she spins the wheel of life’s cycles daily in front of you. And I don’t believe that you are becoming more desensitised by the frequency of these occurrences, or you wouldn’t be able to speak so sensitively as you have in this blog. Our hat is off to you for doing such an interesting commentary!

Life in the bush is never easy. The strongest and most cunning always find a way to survive and even flourish. Thanks for the reminder Kirst.

In the past year, I have witnessed some very gruesome or intensely upsetting moments in the bush. I cannot say that I am more used to it now, and I might argue that I do not ever want to get used to it, as I think that it would diminish my humanity and empathy for the very very tough world that we and all of the creatures live in.

Also, I am happy to say that I have seen all of the leopards showcased in this blog post, but the loss of Hosana simply stings and stings and stings.

That is incredible Lisa. Indeed the loss of Hosana male is a tough one to digest

Excellent article Kirst and one over which there is always much debate. I read and then re-read this blog, trying to come to some sort of conclusion but I wasn’t successful. Rather I thought a lot about a sentence that spoke to the survival elements of predators. I thought immediately of the new mothers in the leopard population who are more driven than ever to seek out prey in order to feed herself and her cubs. And then there are the male lions in search of new territory and prides to conquer, killing or chasing away any resident males or going as far as to kill cubs that don’t belong to them. I can justify the leopards’ kills but find it a stretch to agree with male lions’ territory kills, and that comes down to using human emotions to justify any kill, I suppose. More to ponder…

Definitely a lot to ponder and I suppose it’s good to not always have the conclusion. Thanks Denise!

I completely agree with you: Life in the wilderness (and not only there) is about survival. And it is certainly the hardest thing to watch if young cubs or foals or other very young animals are killed, or if they die of hunger because of the harsh conditions in nature.
And it is really exciting to watch the build-up to a hunt and the stalking of a prey of the predator. This I find really interesting: how the animals interact and try to become successful. The final stage, the killing, is sometimes indeed horrible to see. But, as you said, it all belongs together for survival in the bush.
And it is really exciting to watch

Thank you Christa. Definitely is a memorable experience to witness first hand

It is certainly an emotional experience for any human to see a killing happening right in front of you. The predator has to eat to survive and to feed her cubs, but on the other hand it is hard to see these beautiful impala, driver being killed. The leopard is illusive and has to hunt on there own to survive, lions again hunt together and eat and fight over the kill. I always hope the prey escape somehow. Well written Kirst and explained so perfectly.

Thank you Valmai.

Kirst, Thanks for a beautifully written post. You are right, as much as we want to humanize animal behaviors, the bottom line is that they need to kill to survive. We cannot change that in the wild….

I would dearly love to get the image of Hosana hunting at the waterhole! I can see in your photo gallery that it is available in a more close up version, but I prefer this full frame view of the entire waterhole viewing. Could you direct me to somewhere that I might able to purchase the full photo?

Hi Lisa, it is such a spectacular image, here is a link to the image on our Fine Art website:
Let me know if you are successful and whether it is the one you are wanting.

Hi Sean! this is the photo! I have bought and paid for it via the link, but still cannot download it yet……will keep trying! I appreciate your help!

Ok, let me have a look into it and make sure that we get it to you as soon as possible.

I really appreciate your reflective and deeper thoughts presented in your article. Not just report what has happened, this is the hash nature, accept it; rather more thoughts behind such manifestation of the harsh nature and the process of digesting our emotions that were stirred up inevitably within us when sighting the harsh nature at its full play.

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