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Plaque Rock 3:3 Female

Plaque Rock 3:3 Female

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Nick Tennick

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Nick has always loved the outdoors and never turns down an opportunity for an adventure. After finishing high school in Johannesburg, where he grew up, Nick spent a gap year in the Zimbabwean bushveld which truly sparked his love for wildlife and conservation ...

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on Plaque Rock Female Leopard’s Cubs are Gone!

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So truely sad – But so part of life. Thank you for the update

It saddens me to grasp the fragility of nature. Almost a haunted look in this leopard’s eyes. Insightful article.

I Nick, we did hope she would double the feeling of elation of the Ximungwe’s cubs. Anyway, leopards are the most resilient predators and the burden they bear is much heavier than other large predators. She is a great leopardess and mum. She will be successful, she’s young and has years to come in front of her

Hi Francesca – yes leopards are very resilient and The Plaque Rock female has so many years still to raise a successful litter. We will keep you posted when we learn if she is pregnant again. Thanks for the comment

So sad. Thank you Nick for the update.

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How heartbreaking I’ll be so sad at work all week now , my thoughts will be with her and her very sad loss. Such cruelty in nature

This is so sad and unfortunate for the Plague rock female. Those cubs where so cute and adorable, I really hoped that she would be able to raise them to adulthood. That is life and as you say Nick, it is an unforgiving terrain and the morality is very high for leopard cubs. So very heartworm and I hope she will mate quickly again so she can fall pregnant again.

It was a great loss but The Plaque Rock female will fall pregnant again so we will keep you up to date when she starts showing signs of pregnancy.

This is really sad news, Nick. What a pity that not one of the cubs has survived!
It’s nature’s course, but still sad.
Hopefully she will have another litter soon.
How many litters has she had so far and how many cubs have made it to adulthood?

Hi Christa, we had high hopes when there were three cubs born in a litter however nature can be very cruel. The Plaque Rock female has given birth to four litters and unfortunately they have all been unsuccessful. She is still learning the harsh realities of raising a litter of cubs in an unforgiving environment and no doubt will be better equipped in raising her next.

It’s tragic that she lost all three of them, but the truth is unfortunately predators are lurking everywhere so it’s no wonder the mortality is that high. Perhaps in three months time, she will give birth and provide us with more viewing opportunities. Thanks for your update Nick.

This is disappointing news for sure. She certainly hasn’t had any luck in the mothering department. Although better to lose the cubs than to lose the mother (and then ultimately the cubs as well). At least she stands a chance to have another litter. I hope the next round finally proves successful for her. It’s a hard job raising cubs alone in such a predator rich environment.

So sorry to hear this Nick.

So tragic! I suspected that things were amiss when there was no word about those three little ones for so long. Three cubs are such a challenge. The only others I recall are the three born to the Nyeleti 4:4 female in 2009 which we saw in 2010. They all survived to adulthood though the mother disappeared in 2011. Have there been other litters of 3?

Hi Mary Beth, thanks for the comment. You are correct, the only female to raise three cubs to independence on Londolozi was the Nyeleti female. The Mashaba Female has had a litter of three however she lost all three. So no there has been no other litters of three to make it to independence.

I’m very sad, but not surprised – when it comes to young leopard cubs, no news is definitely not good news! Nick, that figure you quote of up to 80% mortality actually seems on the low side. Plaque Rock has now lost 4 litters of 2 or 3 cubs, and I’ve lost count of how many litters her grandmother Mashaba lost, all of 2 or 3 cubs. Ndzaanzeni has had many litters, but only Tortoise Pan has reached independence so far. I think Nhlanguleni has lost all heer cubs since raising Finfoot and Nkuwe.

Hi Suzanne, Thanks for the comment and I would agree with you based on those female leopards and their failed litters you have mentioned. 80% mortality is a number estimated for leopards in general but the Sabi Sands has a much higher density and I would tend to agree that the cub mortality rate is higher in the region due to higher competitiveness and as well as the higher number of young nomadic leopards passing through he area.

Thanks for the update Nick, sorry to hear this news.

Sorry to hear this news, but wishing the best for her!

Great article. Thanks Nick.

Thanks Malcolm!

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10 April, 2798
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