Involved Leopards

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

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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 A Sad Morning for a Mother Leopard

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Senior Digital Ranger

Please cull those hyenas. I just can’t stand that animal. I’m so upset about her cubs having to go through the suffering that it did and for mom who’s suffering a great loss

So sad for her. Nature can be hard for all, including those of us who love it so much.

Thank you for sharing and caring so deeply.

What a sad report to have to make. I can only hope that she is successful the next time she has a litter.

Senior Digital Ranger

So sad to hear this. Hopefully her next litter will survive.

Matt, That is so sad. It’s had to understand, but it is the way the wild….

Logically I understand that it’s just nature, and a hyena has just as much a right to eat dinner as the leopard did to eat the duiker, and yet the solitary life of a mother leopard and extreme investment into each cub somehow makes it so much more tragic.

Not so only nature as humans interference weights heavily on leopards side, by hunting them for their coats, trophy or retaliation. They are not so high in numbers compared to hyenas whose action is an elimination of a rival.predator

Oh, so sad. I wonder if the other cub met the same fate, guess we’ll never know. She’s proved herself to be a wonderful mother so far, but there’s only so much she can do when the odds are so stacked against cubs reaching independence.

almost didn’t read because of the title 🙁 heartbreaking

This is sad news for sure, but not completely unexpected, given the trials and tribulations that female leopards face each day. Knowing she had two cubs, the expectations are high that she can raise one, as she did in the past. She’s young and within a few months I’m sure we will see new cubs. For all of those who viewed her with her two little ones, consider the experience a gift from Mother Nature.


So sad. The reality of Mother Nature can be cruel.

A sad day, indeed, but as you mentioned, she’s already proven successful. Hopefully she has plenty of time to raise more cubs to independence.

It is so incredibly sad to hear a mother leopard desperately calling for a cub that was lost to a hyena.
I witnessed that with the Nhlanguleni female when I was in Londolozi last year. I showed a photo of her to friends and they immediately said: She lost a cub. They could tell from the expression on her face. Animals can show emotions and they have emotions and can experience and express joy and sadness e.g. for sure.
Poor Ximungwe mother! Hyenas are certainly very important animals in the eco system of nature. But when it comes to killing young leopards, one could hate them a bit.

So sorry to hear this new Matt, but as you said, their lives are “a constant series of trial and tribulations.” Wishing her the best of luck going forward.

Hello Matt,
So sad to hear! Tuff life out there! Terrible for the mother leopard!
Beautiful pictures! Beautiful written! Thank you for sharing!

I am so upset that she has lost this cub as well, just when we thought she would be able to raise this one cub to adulthood. I am sure she is heartbroken as well. Those hyenas can never anyone alone and are always scavenging around. I’m sure you Rangers and Trackers are also upset about this poor little cub being killed by the hyenas. But that is raw nature’s way and we cannot interfere with nature, even if we feel heartbroken over what happened to the cub.

“The raw nature of the wild”. That phrase captures it perfectly.

Hi Matt and everybody, yes, it’s raw competition. It is not just hunger, given that hyenas eat anything including cameras, but especially competition. It is not just nature: humans have interfered a lot by killing the best leopards in trophy hunting and poaching, besides retaliation. Hyenas certainly overnumber leopards, and by this way a mother leopards future does not look so rosy. My luck wish to her and sorry for the cub it was a real beautiful creature

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