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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 What happened to the Inyathini Male Leopard?

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As is always the case, we delight in these leopard’s lives and mourn their passing. I didn’t know Inyathini but I have seen his son Tortoise Pan who is doing a great job of protecting his new cub with Xidulu. These big successful dominant boys are to be cherished while they rule in the Sabi Sands. RIP Inyathini

Senior Digital Ranger

He was such an amazing leopard to watch.

Senior Digital Ranger

In 2018 at Londolozi we finished an exhilarating run with a pack of Wild Dog and were returning to Camp when our vehicle broke down from all the brush beating the undercarriage to keep up with the Dogs. Dean Del La Rey didn’t miss a beat an said, “Well this is as good a place as any to have a Sundowner.” They set up a bar while we waited for the (grinning) relief fellows to arrive with new wheels. And then it Happened…It took us by Surprise…The Magnificent Inyathini Male came casually strolling down the road in the sunset!!! It was not only a Magic Moment, but a Magical Day that we will never forget.

That last b/w shot…wow!

We saw the Inyathini male in 2019 and I fell in love with him at first sight. His face told the story of a battle filled life. He had so much character about him. I am honored that I was able to spend some time in his presence, always hoped I would see him one more time. He will never be forgotten

He had a powerful presence. I always felt that that lip scar added to his ‘tough guy’ look! RIP Inyathini.

So sad he’s gone. I was waiting for a long time to hearing news of him. I remember how he was thought to be probably dead, and then he was seen again. He was a leopard to the fullest point, to wipe out all lions cubs. Terrible. But then that’s what a male leopard is… maybe lions killed him? His pictures make feel goosebumps. The picture with his son is incredibly sweet.

Matt, thank you for the history of the Inyathini male. He was certainly a dominant force during his lifetime.

Matt he was a stunning leopard and his legacy will live on. His lineage lives on and he won’t be forgotten at all.

It is always sad when the life of an admired and amazing animal comes to its end.
And it’s really good that- after having got to know these animals personally – we can follow their fates via the Londolozi blog. So it’s possible to say good bye to such a wonderful leopard ( or any other well-known animal).

The Inyathini leopard was certainly an impressive leopard and a force to be reckoned with, needless to say. During my first stay at Londolozi in 2018, I was fortunate to spend time with one of his offspring, the now Tortoise Pan male. A couple days later we had quick look at Inyathini as he quickly made his way from the road into the brush as we were on our way to camp. It’s heartbreaking to realize that he is most likely gone, passing into a new “territory” where he has no competition and lots of prey. May he live forever in his offspring and to those that had the pleasure of viewing him.

Senior Digital Ranger

What an artfully written and beautiful tribute this is to him. I wasn’t aware he had ‘wiped out’ the Ntsevu/Ndzhenga Cubs. There has always been a feeling I have had that the Ndzhenga males have handicaps in their genes that may not be healthy to be passed on. Though none of us want to see any animal, especially the young killed, as nature works to weed out the weak it makes me think it was nature doing this again through the Inyathini male’s actions. We may never know exactly how large his role was but your posts certainly brings attention to most if not all of it. Truly lovely. Thank you! You had me in tears on this reading 🙂

Crazy to think a Leopard can wipe out a whole generation of Lions.

I’d imagine lots of animals just wander into Kruger never to be seen again.

Senior Digital Ranger

It is always sad to loose on of our legends. From what I have read he was born in 2008 to a Kruger female. he would be 15 this year, but think he may have left this earth in 2022. Thank you for the blog on Inyathini, may his genes be spread far and wide.

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