April has been filled with great sightings all round. The cats, dogs and general game have all been out and about in the Western Sector.It is already getting colder and we seem to be having our last bit of unexpected rain before winter hits us.
Hlaba Nkunzi and her ever playful cub, now over 7 months old, is both doing very well. She is seen all over patrolling her territory and on the hunt to ensure her cub’s survival. Luckily the cub knows when to head for safety when danger approaches in the likes of some Hyena, as can be seen in the picture below.
With the cub still honing her hunting skills she is keeping her mom pretty busy when she is around, and probably giving her grey hairs as she explores and tries to navigate the smallest branches she can find.
Metsi and her cub still occupies the territory close to the lodge and we have had regular sightings of them. It seems that both of them are getting more relaxed with our presence. Metsi still hasn’t learnt to take her kill up a tree and is therefore losing a lot of kills to hyena. She is always weary when they are feeding and makes a quick getaway when needs be.
She has been seen a lot more this month and found a couple of times seeking the affection of Dayone, with whom she mated for a few days.
She is still north of the Sand River, and sightings are still few and far between.
He has had a busy month between making sure his territory is patrolled and protected and also mating with Xikavi and the Dam 3 Female. For now it seems that Dayone’s territory and his legacy is safe from intruders. See the video for the mating between him and Xikavi, courtesy of Kathleen Ockenfels.
He was seen spending most of his time on and beyond our eastern boundary this month. Kashane was also found mating with the Tasselbery female.
Nyeleti didn’t spend too much time this month in either Dayone’s or Kashane’s territory and is waiting in the wings till he has the strenght to challenge one of them.
The 4 brothers were seen and heard a couple of times close to the lodge this month. They are still recovering from the fight with the Majingilane and still head to the east to make sure that their boundary is secure. There were a couple of exciting moments as they tried to hunt some buffalo, but were unsuccessful and decided to rather view them from a distance on the dam wall.
The females are taking good care of their cubs, supplying them with enough meat, in the form of big Kudu and Nyala bulls, on which they all gorge themselves. They spent most of their time in the Mabrak riverbed close to the lodge and the sightings were, as always, amazing and plentiful. The 7 cubs are getting more playful and adventurous as time goes on.
There has been a couple sightings of the Othawa lionesses coming over into the Western Sector. Reports from the east of cubs have also been coming through. Lets hope that they can also take care of their cubs like the Ximhungwe pride.
The Southern Pride have also been seen entering into the Western Sector a few times this month. It may be that they are looking to extend their territory, but we will have to wait and see.
Pack of Painted Dogs
We were lucky enough to be visited by the 8 dogs in the beginning of the month, moving all over the Western Sector making Impala kills as they go along. All 8 seems to be fit and healthy.
[FMP width=”640″ height=”360″]https://www.leopardhills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/dayone-xikavi-mating.flv[/FMP]