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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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32 Comments

on Stranger in a Strange Land – a Battle for Territory

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Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Kyle, you had me completely engaged reading your extremely detailed and somewhat poetic blog today. That had to have been so thrilling to witness and I only wish the video had been included. Do you have any background on where the Eyrefield was before venturing into Londolozi territory? As far as a most memorable moment, I would have to choose spending a morning with the Tsalala female and her then sub-adult daughter.I had followed her story for a few years and was so impressed by her strength and tenacity in solely raising her daughter to adulthood.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thanks so much Denise! Eyrefield male has been nomadic further East of us for some time, from what I have gathered. The current Tsalala lioness’s mother was a very impressive lioness, managing to raise a daughter who seems to have inherited her tenacity and survival skills!

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Great storytelling! I am glad none of them was too badly injured, the hyenas were waiting just for that. In such a fight they may end up by devouring the most injured leopard alive which is really a splatter end. They are far too many in comparison to leopards, cheetah and even lions. I hope the Eyrefireld male will soon have his established territory. I think one favourite view would be the Mashaba female and the Tsalala female both with cubs alive and kicking into this dangerous world!

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Hi Francesca, thank you for reading! It would indeed have been a very unfortunate end and I am glad we did not have to witness something like that!

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Kyle you had a front row seat with the two leopards fighting. Your every detail kept me in suspension until the end. So glad the Senegal Bush male kept his territory for know.

Chelsea Allard
Master Tracker

Such an engaging and suspenseful post with beautiful writing. I am glad neither was wounded any worse that a few gashes. If the Eyrefield male had been paralyzed, but not killed, would he have been humanely euthanized to prevent suffering? I know it’s preferred to let nature take its course, but in that case what’s the policy?

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thanks so much for reading, Chelsea! To be honest I do not think that we would have had time to euthanize the animal as the hyenas were so close behind. In terms of intervening, we’d really only do so if the injury was caused by man. We have to just be impartial observers and let nature take its course as if we weren’t there. I always think of it in this sense: who are we to decide what animal is more important and deserves saving? Each life is important, from the smallest to the biggest and as such, it would be impossible to save every creature.

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Vivid story telling–great job.
We watched a cheetah patiently stalking a herd of impala. Our guide alerted us to one which had separated. After several minutes quietly approachaing the unsuspecting prey, it bolted with an incredible burst of speed and chased
the impala directly at our vehicle. We could hear the ground reverberating with the fury of the chase. It took the impala down 10 meters from our vehicle, suffocating it. It then called for its 2 hidden cubs to join it. The three of them finished the job, with mother clearly “instructing” them. I can still hear the sounds of the frenzied chase.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thank you so much, Vin. That story of yours is incredible! I have still not had the opportunity to see a cheetah in full flight like that! Very special.

Debra Matott
Senior Digital Ranger

I was on the edge of my seating reading your encounter! I hate to watch the video until I’ve read the story, it’s always more exciting to hear, first, from the guide that witnessed it first hand!

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thank you for that, Debra! I am glad you enjoyed it.

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Kyle, What an incredible sighting! Your storytelling had our hearts racing – it felt like we were riding with you! Where did the Eyrefield male come from? Have you seen him before?

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

HI Michael and Terri. We have not seen that male before or since. i believe he has been nomadic further East of us for some time.

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

A memorable sighting -lucky guests

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Kyle, you have told this thrilling story of the two leopards so well. I could almost hear their growing and feel the tension, no more, the utmost aggression between these two. I wonder what is going to happen in the future, whether the newcomer will try again to gain some territory or whether he has left for good. So exciting!

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thank you, Christa. It was an incredible day. We will just have to see what happens over the next year. It would be very exciting to have a new male establishing territory on Londolozi.

Laszlo Toth
Explorer

Great story to read! Thank you for sharing!
I understand Eyrefield is coming from Mala Mala where he wasn’t seen since September. Being nomadic he recently ventured as far as Savanna reserve in the Western Sector, but again he left the area, probably back to east.
At the age of 4yrs 10 month he must be looking for a territory to settle, I guess
Thanks for the update!

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thanks for the info, Laszlo! It’s going to be very exciting to see where he finally establishes himself.

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Wow Kyle! Another mesmerizing story from Londolozi’s best storyteller!! We all felt like we were there watching with you! You really have a gift for this as evidenced by the comments!!! More please!

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Thanks so much Bob and Luc! It was an incredible day and hopefully we’ll be going on similar adventures together next June!

Kyle, You are a gifted storyteller. We were fortunate enough to be on the scene to witness the incident. Your words captured the intensity beautifully. Thank you.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

That’s very kind of you, Todd. Thank you. It was such an incredible day!

Anita Santoro
Senior Digital Ranger

So it seems the blood on the Eyrefield males teeth is from biting the old guys nose? Seems like so much blood from that seemingly short spat! I’m glad they were interrupted!

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

I am sure the was a cut inside the Eyrefield male’s mouth to cause all that blood, but I agree with you on the fortunate interruption that allowed them to separate!

Kara Taylor
Master Tracker

That’s so intense – I’m to scared to watch the video LOL.

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

What a great story, Kyle, and well told! The photos of the Eyrefield male with his bloody teeth are chilling yet powerful. We saw him up north a year ago and he’s a beauty, unbothered by the vehicles, young and strong. He gave the Senegal Bush male a ‘run for his money’ in this meeting; I wonder what the future will bring.
My most memorable moments involve leopard cubs – a now-lost male cub of the Nanga female and the two recent cubs of the Nhlanguleni female, also now lost I understand. The innocence and wonder of a cub is heartwarming and always brings smiles!

Michael Fleetwood
Digital Tracker

Great account of the incident Kyle! Really love detailed “play by play”. Just want to note the fourth picture in the blog entry is the Tortoise Pan Male

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Wow, survival is never guaranteed . Thanks Kyle for the fantastic video.

Gawie Jordaan
Digital Tracker

This Eyrefield Leopard is a specimen! If anyone knows where he comes from, I will be delighted with the info. I believe the Senegal Male will probably have to sleep with one eye open these days i guess.

Kyle Gordon
Contributor

Hi Gawie, Laszlo above has informed that he is close to 5 years old and has been nomadic for some time trying to establish territory. He’s been seen quite far West but has mainly been further East of us here at Londolozi.

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

What an incredible experience Kyle! Thanks for sharing your riveting account of this encounter!!

Lisa Antell
Master Tracker

Not sure how well I would do in such a moment as this……really hate to see a full-on ambush. Yikes! Glad that both got away safely….

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