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Leopards of Sabi Sands

Italy Ngala Offline
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#76
( This post was last modified: 04-04-2016, 12:49 AM by Ngala )

Anderson Male Leopard news.
Photo and information credits: PJD Photography and Guiding
"Mr Anderson, up in a tree with the remains from his Steenbok kill with some Hyena lurking around." 29 December 2015

*This image is copyright of its original author

Photo and information credits: Tristan and Grayson Dicks Wildlife Photography
Shimpoko
"Ghost" in Shangaan is the nickname for this formidable male leopard of light eyes and elusive behaviour.
 15 February 2016

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Photo and information credits: Dawie Jacobs
"First of the trio of male leopards this week, Anderson looks back at a hyena opportunistically trailing him." 7 March 2016

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Photo and information credits: Under African Skies Guided Safaris and Photography
"Eye to eye with one of the biggest leopards I have had the privilege to see. The Anderson Male at Londolozi Game Reserve looks intimidating with his gothic like eye shadow!" 8 March 2016

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From Anderson Male Leopard:
Anderson - posted by James Tyrell - 14 March 2016
"Elmon Mhlongo, one of the most experienced trackers at Londolozi and indeed in the Sabi Sand Reserve, with over 40 years to his name, ranks the Anderson male leopard as the second largest he's ever seen. When Elmon says something like that, you realise just how impressive this leopard is!!"

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Photo credits: Villiers Steyn, 24 March 2016

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Italy Ngala Offline
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#77

From Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve:

"Male Leopard Tingana turned to investigate a noise while he was feeding on the massive warthog he had pulled down. This male is becoming more and more relaxed in his "new" territory, and was even seen walking through Cheetah Plains camp a few evenings ago." Image by Andrew Khosa

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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#78

From Londolozi, A Leopard Kill: The Mashaba Female Catches a Baby Waterbuck:
At Pioneer camp, we were recently joined by the Falloon family for what can only be described as an exceptional four days…  By their third afternoon with us, we had seen some great things but all that was missing was the elusive leopard and not for a lack of trying.


Foster Masiya and I had a brief chat before heading out into the field on a very warm summer’s afternoon. Our plan was to see if we could find the Mashaba Female, a leopard we see fairly regularly and who is often seen close to the camps.  Foster had a good feeling that she was going to be out and about and from past experience, I know that when a tracker has that feeling, you follow it.

As we headed out for yet another unknown adventure, tracks of a female leopard were called in by my colleague Alfred Mathebula. The tracks were right outside Varty Camp’s entrance and the tracks were on top of all vehicle tracks from during the day, which meant they were fresh and that the leopard might not be too far away.

As we moved into the area to give my colleagues’ assistance, sure enough the two trackers Euce Madonsela and Shadrack Mkhabela found the leopard resting in the shade of a Spikethorn, a mere hundred yards away from where they had seen the first track. A track-and-find like this is always exciting for everyone involved and a pretty exceptional start to any drive.

Once we’d picked up Shadrack and Euce, they directed us to where they’d seen the leopard and sure enough, it was the Mashaba female. Foster had been right.

The Mashaba female sits out in the open weighing up her chances, as she watches the herd of waterbuck.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The Mashaba Female was lying down in a small ditch, resting in the shade. Looking at her we could see that she was hungry. She was in good condition but could do with a decent meal, especially as she is still supporting a youngster of ten months that has an ever-growing appetite.


She soon began moving and we followed her as she marked territory and moved through the clearings east of camp. This area borders the territory of her first daughter, the Nkoveni female. As she emerged from a thicket, she noticed a herd of impala moving into the clearing. She watched them for a while but after weighing up the options she decided to rather move on in search of a better opportunity. When predators such as the cats hunt it requires patience; waiting for all the elements to be in their favour, but if things aren’t not quite right they may abandon the hunt so as to avoid unnecessary attention and wasted energy.

The Mashaba female started moving towards the Sand River, which I have seen her do many times before. The reason she probably did this is because the river offers pockets of thick vegetation and an abundance of prey. This combined with the fading light would likely offer better hunting opportunities. As she moved into a prominent clearing she stopped in her tracks and started flicking her tail, which is a sign of excitement and that she may have spotted a potential meal. We decided to park our vehicle at a distance as we noticed a number of animals in the open; wildebeest, nyala, impala and a herd of waterbuck.

An area like this is not easy to hunt in for a leopard, as there is not much vegetation to hide behind. This means there is a very good chance that any of the animals in the clearing could spot her, sound an alarm and thereby alert any other animals in the vicinity.

The leopard took her time assessing her options and in doing so noticed that there was a very young waterbuck in the herd. Even though she had selected her target she was still about sixty yards away and there was no cover between her and the calf. As we sat watching her it was clear that she was becoming more and more focused on this young waterbuck; her body posture changed, she stayed close to the ground and began to stalk, her belly almost rubbing the ground as she crept closer. The mother and calf strayed slightly from the herd, creating the opportunity as their potential view of the leopard was blocked by a large marula tree. This was the opportunity the Mashaba female had been waiting for and accelerating all the time, she ran straight towards the waterbuck, using the tree as best she could.

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The leopard was only a couple of yards away when the female waterbuck realised the danger but it was too late! The female waterbuck alarmed and ran but the youngster ran in the opposite direction and straight into a small thicket where the Mashaba female was able to catch up and finally grab the young waterbuck. We could hear the calf’s distress call and knew the leopard had been successful. Once the dust settled, we could see that she had the youngster firmly by the throat and there was nothing the female waterbuck could do.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

One cannot help but feel for the mother waterbuck as she bounced around in circles alarming at the leopard and watched her calf being dragged off into the thicket. This is nature however, and as tough as it can be to witness such a scene, it is reality and we realise that we were privileged to be a part of it. We left the sighting with very mixed feelings; sadness for the waterbuck but relief for the leopard who is still supporting a hungry and very much dependent cub.

The video of this hunt will be posted in the Leopard Predation thread.
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Italy Ngala Offline
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#79

Photo and information credits: At Close Quarters - Photographic Safaris
"Mr Anderson is one of the biggest male leopards around at the moment. Here he was descending towards the female he had been mating with for the previous few days."

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From Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, 3 April 2016:
"In two separate sightings – last night we had Maxabeni weaving his way in and out of a riverbed while we attempted to keep up with him and White Dam’s cub, who after quenching his thirst this morning made his way into a thicket to rest for the day."

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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#80
( This post was last modified: 04-05-2016, 06:23 PM by Tshokwane )

Dewane male, credits to Idube Game Reserve.

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This leopard, also known as Dayone, has quickly become one of my favourites. You see his dominant posture, the confidence in his walk and, when you look at the size of his neck and his powerful body, you can hardly be surprised. He's the boss, and he knows it.
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Italy Ngala Offline
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#81

From Singita:
"A recent view of the Hukumuri female and her cub."

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From Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, photo credits Hugo Breed Wildtography:
"Dayone was on one of his big patrolling missions again."

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"Stefan and his guest enjoying the moment as Dayone walks straight towards them."

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"Dayone"

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Photo and information credits: Ale Olivieri - WanderingThru
"The beautiful Salayexe Female Leopard keeping an eye out on her too curious cub and the approaching hyenas."

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Photo and information credits: Dawie Jacobs
"Salayexe snarling as her cub walks past her, real cheeky! So amazing to be able to spend time with them!!"

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From Tintswalo Lodges:
Nwasisontso Female Leopard.

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Ntsuntsu Male leopard.

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Italy Ngala Offline
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#82

From Inyati Game Lodge:
"A look back on Tlangisa and her cubs."

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Dewane Male Leopard, from Idube Game Reserve:

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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#83

Mr. Anderson, pic by Amy Attenborough from the Londolozi blog.

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Italy Ngala Offline
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#84
( This post was last modified: 04-07-2016, 02:32 AM by Ngala )

Photo and information credits: Darren Donovan Wildlife Photography
"The Rhulani male leopard, looks for the Nwasisontso female Leopard, on the plains to the north of the Nwasisontso drainage line."

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Photo credits: James Craig Moodie
Airstrip Male Leopard at Mala Mala Game Reserve, 31 March 2016.

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Italy Ngala Offline
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#85

I saw only now that I have entered the same picture of Anderson Male. Lol I delete it! Sorry @Majingilane
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#86

Nah don't worry about it.

In fact, thanks for the pic of Airstrip, he looks badass as usual.
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#87

Dewane male with his Nyala kill.

When he gets up, take a look at his size and then the way he jumps up the tree, as if it's the easiest thing in the world... Amazing cat.



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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#88

A WEEK IN THE BUSH VOL. 97:
Maxabeni has been his usual distant self lately, but we enjoyed his company for several days this week.  We all wish we could see more of him, but his territory has obviously increased to a level where he just doesn’t have the luxury or time to stay in any one area for too long.  The good news is that he is more stable than ever with his territory and there haven’t been any challenges or serious incursions by other males that we know of.

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Italy Ngala Offline
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#89
( This post was last modified: 04-08-2016, 04:51 AM by Ngala )

From Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, 06 April 2016:
"The Little Bush female was showing off her beauty in a riverbed yesterday afternoon, before moving off into a thicket with her cub."

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Leopard update, 07 April 2016:
"White Dam was on the move through some very dense vegetation, possibly hoping to flush out a duiker or steenbok."

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*This image is copyright of its original author

"The Ndzilo female showed up yesterday evening after quite a long absence."

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"Lisbon was seen this morning with her young son nearby. He is still very shy around vehicles for the most part, which is most unusual when compared to his mother’s relaxed nature."

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A Week in the Bush Vol.97 by Mike Palmer
"Kigelia was spotted once or twice during the week and she’s still looking great and quite comfortable within her range.  She spends most of time a bit further north of our traverse, but that is to be expected since her mother is trying to raise a new cub."

*This image is copyright of its original author

"Mahlathini was seen a couple of times and actually right at the lion kill some days back, but he’s staying under the radar and not venturing too deep into Maxabeni’s area.  Mathlathini is getting older now and I just don’t think he has the will or energy to take on Maxabeni again for the rights to the land and its females.  It was a surprise to see him and we’re glad he’s still ok."

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"...Hlarulini female.  She is absolutely incredible and an amazing cat to spend time with.  I just hope to the heavens that she links up with Maxabeni soon so we can have her settle here indefinitely."

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Italy Ngala Offline
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#90

From Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve:
"We were fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with Male Leopard, Tingana who was mating with resident female, Thandi around tree house dam!" Image by Andrew Khosa

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From Idube Game Reserve:
"Hlab'nkunzi's son"

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From Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, credits Hugo Breed Wildtography:
"Scotia going up to rest in the top branches."

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