Rangers Report December 2010

Posted on December 24, 2010

This months report is going to be a cracker as usual…….

Hlaba Nkunzi:
Hlaba Nkunzi has been found on numerous occasions in areas far outside her territory, and when she was seen there she has been marking territory on every second bush. We are thinking that the reason for this is that her 2 cubs are now growing up and should be getting their independence within the next 6-8 months, and she is trying to secure a territory for them. The area is was occupied by Makubela who was killed by what we think was a male leopard +-8 months ago.
Hlaba nkunzi and cubs

Mambirris cub (Thlangisa):
She has now got her independence from Mambirri. There comes a time in a young leopards life where they need to move off and establish their own territory. We are not too sure on exactly where she has done this. It is at this time when we named her for reference sake as to keep an eye on her progress. Anyone that has spent time with this leopard knows that she is very playful so hence the “name” Thlangisa.
An image of mambirris cub from the archive

Xinzele male and Xikhavi female leopards have been together for a couple of days. The guests were spoiled with the two leopards in the clearing, mating 5 times in 20minutes. It was great watching these two beautiful animals during this special time.

The magnificent green grass really helped make this a spectacular sighting.
Xinzele male

This is what Raymond saw on this mornings drive, it is amazing how these huge cats still have that playful streak in them.
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The Tegwan male hasn‘t been seen this whole month. The Xinzele male has been creeping in on the eastern part of his territory and was seen by Gary and his guests calling as if he owns the territory.

Ximungwe pride:
Great news for us is that one of the Ximungwe females still has her 2 cubs. They have been moving all over our traversing area. With it being summer now and the amount of rain that we have had these “cats” have still being crossing the sand river.
Ximungwe females

The mapogos have been giving us some great viewing as usual. We havn‘t seen the one mapogo for at least 3 1/2 weeks now. We are thinking that he may have disappeared. There has been report from the east that there is a coalition of 4 male lions moving in from the east. It seems that the mapogos reign may be coming to an end.

There was a brilliant sighting with an Elephant herd in the north close to the Sand River, where Heinrich and his guests followed the herd after they had a mud wallow and were busy feeding. Everybody was quite let down as they had missed out on the wallow which ended as they got to the herd. Following the Herd for quite some time everyone was very surprised when the elephants found another mud pond. This was a special treat seeing the whole herd getting down into the mud and really enjoying themselves.
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2 elephants

The big herd has been back in our traversing area, Ray was very fortunate to see the whole herd drinking at a watering hole.

Like the Elephants the rhino spent some time in the water, cooling down after a very hot African day. Two male Rhino were totally flat in a watering hole, trying to get as much of their body into the water as they can. The rhino then got up and moved closer to the vehicle, still staying in the water, where they also started to wallow and role around in the water. This was amazing seeing the two having such a good time, with a perfect sunset in the background.

Wild dogs:
We were privelaged to have the dogs here a few times this month. On one particular evening drive Heinrich and his guests followed the dogs and saw them make a kill on an impala lamb. This process of catching killing and eating is a very quick process and it is amazing to witness this whole process.
Wild dog stand off

Interesting info:
Leopard tracks:
Leopard Tracks

Top: Feamle leopard tracks
Note: Either found on their own or with cub tracks

Bottom: Male leopard tracks.
Note: Males tracks are a lot bigger.

Normally found with no other leopard tracks other than if their was a mating pair.

These tracks look similar. Other than the size of them and the numbers of tracks found together they are very different. Note in both of these tracks no nail marks are found. This is because they are both cats and have retractible claws and only use their claws when needed.

Lion tracks:
Lion tracks

Top: Female lion tracks

Bottom: Male lion tracks.

Lion tracks are normally found with the pride etc male, females and cubs.

That is all for this month we all hope you have a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

The Leopard Hills Rangers.

0 thoughts on “Rangers Report December 2010

  1. Great Report, Gary! It’s been a S P E C T A C U L A R month!

    Merry Christmas everyone, may 2011 be a blessed year. Looking forward to the coming year, if it can be anything like 2010 its going to be magnificent.

  2. Merry Christmas to all our Leopard Hills guests, friends and family. May you all have a joyfull festive season filled with love, peace and happiness! Hoping that you will be able to join us in "our playground" for more exciting african bush adventures and memories in 2011!

    Best wishes

    The Leopard Hills Team

  3. Well done!It’s been a great month. Another year has passed.It’s interesting listening to all the daily happenings in the reserve, the natural change is beautiful, new coalitions of lions coming into the area etc. It really makes for a great experience for guests and staff alike.
    Merry Christmas to all. And to the rangers, keep on doing what you’re doing. There Gary, are you happy now?

  4. Thanks for the Interesting Report any News of the Missing Mapogo,If he Clashed with Majingis then why did he do it Alone ???

  5. Hi Ravi ,
    I’m glad to see your interest about Mapogo’s .
    We can not be sure Dreadlock die from Majingis atack , it’s just a supposition . Wherever , if this prove true it is the finall act for Mapogo’s . Makulu reign supreme over this coalition but is already 12 years old , too much for a dominant teritorial male …The Bent spine didn’t look too good , I saw him very thin … The fittest remain Mr. T , which is younger , it seems he’ll see his Nemesis (Majingis) once more… What do you think ?

  6. Hi Mele,
    As there is No Sign of Dreadlocks there is only One Force Strong Enough to have Killed Such a Large Veteran Mapogo and They can only be the Feared Majingis Or Poachers.
    I Feel the Death of Kinky Tail Signalled the Beginning of the End of Mapogos and the Demise of Powerful Dreadlocks has been the Final Nail in the Coffin of Mapogos Reign.
    The 3 Survivors Will not be Around for Long as Mr T is a Dwarf Male Lion,Makulu is Very Old to Fight Territorial Battles and Bent Spine is Already Looking Very Battered and Beaten Up !!!
    I Say This From the Bottom of My Heart that I Have Always Admired Legendary Mapogos and Will Never Forget Them Like an Old Lost Friend :-((

  7. Hi to All

    While I appreciate everyone’s interest in the goings on of certain individual animals, I feel it pertinent to point out that we are very much against the naming of these animals. We do use certain names for reference purposes, or characteristics that can identify them by such as Hlaba Nkunzi female leopard, having been born in the vicinity of Hlaba Nkunzi Dam and so on.
    I know the coalition of Male Lions have been referred to on many websites by various names, on this weblog I would appreciate if we could refrain from individualizing with such names as we feel it does not best represent the magnificent true wildness of these individuals.
    Thank you for your understanding in this regard.
    Duncan Rodgers
    Operations Director
    Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve.

  8. Well said Duncan, giving nicknames to these animals is really not pleasant and makes them seem like captive animals, these are wild and deserve to be treated as such and with respect

  9. Fantastic Article Gary.

    Lovely Article ,great information.

    I fully agree with Duncan, the Animals are not "Disney Characters", and should not be be given nick names.they are beautiful and thats why they are free to roam and be wild in the majestic bush.

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