Involved Leopards

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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Ximungwe 5:3 Female

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

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Ntomi 3:3 Male

Ntomi 3:3 Male

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Misava 4:3 Male

Misava 4:3 Male

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Xinzele 4:4 Female

Xinzele 4:4 Female

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Mawelawela 3:4 Male

Mawelawela 3:4 Male

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Camp Pan 4:3 Male

Camp Pan 4:3 Male

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Three Rivers 2:2 Female

Three Rivers 2:2 Female

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Mother Leopard 2:2 Female

Mother Leopard 2:2 Female

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About the Author

Matt Rochford

Ranger

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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17 Comments

on How does a Leopard get its Name?

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Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Thanks Matt for enlightening us once again on the process behind naming the leopards of Londolozi. I find the names fascinating, albeit some of the names beginning with “N” can be confusing when keeping track of whose got cubs: Nkoveni, Ndzanzeni, Nhlanguleni, Ntsumi, Nkuwa…. at least they’re all females. I’ll always remember seeing the Ndzanzeni young male on my first trip to Londolozi, shortly thereafter becoming the Tortoise Pan male. Then last year I actually saw the Tortoise Pan for which he was named and it all made sense. It will be interesting to learn the name the Ximungwe young male will be given as well as ultimately what path he will take once totally independent.

Matt Rochford
Ranger

Hi Denise! I do agree that it can be quite tricky initially to keep track of all the different yet similar names, especially if you are new to all the leopards. Once you are familiar with each individual it becomes second nature! 🙂 we are very lucky that we still do have the occasional sighting of the Tortoise Pan Male. He is a beautiful leopard and is thriving in the northern reaches of the Sabi Sands. Regarding the Ximungwe Young Male, we have already been throwing some suggestions around – watch this space!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Matt, Thanks for the explanation! It is wonderful to be able to track the lives of the Londolozi Leopards. We feel like we know all of the personally! We have enjoyed following Mashaba from her very young days as a “young female”!

Matt Rochford
Ranger

Hey Michael and Terri! It’s a pleasure, and glad you enjoyed my explanation. I feel that way too. It’s hard not to become invested in their lives. It makes you realise that every single leopard out there has an awesome storyline behind them. It’s only a few that we are fortunate enough to wintness or follow. The Mashaba Female will always be a special leopard on Londolozi that most rangers and trackers won’t forget.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

I always read with enthusiasm your tales of leopard dynasties and the cubs that are thriving, it is so uplifting, wonderful

Matt Rochford
Ranger

Thanks Francesca! I am looking forward to the introduction of a few new leopard names in the near future! Holding thumbs for them! 🙂

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Understand how the names originate. Continue to be impressed by how easily each of you can readily identify the spot patten.
I can identify the Mashaba female and Senegal Bush male–just not by their spots.

Matt Rochford
Ranger

Once you see individuals over and over, you actually begin to recognize their face, just like you would another person. However, their spot patterning is the official and most accurate way to identify them. Although it requires you to get a decent look through binoculars or snap a good close up picture.

Darryl Piggott
Explorer

It seems that geographical areas part a large part in the naming of the leopard. How do you identify leopards, presumably mostly males, coming onto your property? Is it through exchanging information with neighbouring properties or does the panthera database serve as your go to reference?

Matt Rochford
Ranger

Hi Darryl, yes that’s correct – we’ll exchange information with neighboring reserves to gather details about the origin and track the history of a particular leopard if possible – which may or may not have been named. If an official name is needed, that will be negotiated between reserves and then that will be submitted to Panthera.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Thanks Matt for explaining the naming of Londolozi’s leopards and the meaning of those numbers of their spots.
You will have to find quite a few new names as there are so many youngsters becoming independent in the next few months, I guess. Will be interesting to learn their new names.

Matt Rochford
Ranger

It’s a pleasure Christa, glad you enjoyed my blog post. Yes you’re right, we are already thinking of a few potential names for each of the youngsters! There will certainly be a bit of arguing back and forth between rangers while we decide! 🙂

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Matt is is such a privilege to be able to see these majestic cats daily in our emails. I am you Rangers all have your own favorite leopard that you track and have a special place in your heart. Very interesting to see how they are named.

Matt Rochford
Ranger

Thanks for your reply Valmai! I guess you are quite right – I do find that the more I’ve seen of a leopard’s life story, the more I’m inclined to become invested in it. It is tough to pick a favorite, but it certainly does make one lean more towards leopards that are viewed more regularly 🙂

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Matt, thank you for explaining your naming system. It will certainly help me in identifying different leopards in the future.

Amanda Cappon
Explorer

Extremely informative; our ranger Alfie provided us with very intricate details on the identification of the leopards. Truly fascinating!

Lisa Antell
Master Tracker

Just love all of the photos of iconic Londolozi leopards! I have met a few of these, and plenty more that I have not. Thanks for the great photos!

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