Watching one of Hlaba Nkunze’s Cubs stalking and pouncing a Banded Mongoose
Yesterday afternoon, Dave and I, with our guests had one of the most amazing sightings!
In the morning we saw one of Hlaba Nkunze’s cubs in a tree with the Tegwaan Male Leopard, who is the father of Hlaba Nkunze’s cubs, while the Ottawa Pride of Lions were lying quite close as they stole a kill that Hlaba Nkunze had made the previous day.
So that afternoon it was quite a relief to hear that the two had safely made it down the tree and away from the Lions and that Hlaba Nkunze had the other cub with her some distance away.
As Dave was going through an area to get to Hlaba Nkunze and her cub which they were following they saw her stalk and pounce on a Banded Mongoose, which she quickly took to a nearby thicket.
We sat listening to the squealing of the mongoose with a broken view through the bushes, as the cub had a good grip on the Mongoose’s throat. It didn’t take too long before it went quiet and we witnessed her making a successful kill this early in her life.
She then moved into a clearing giving us a good view of her and the kill she just made. Doing what young leopards do, she started playing with the Mongoose, rolling over.. tossing it up in the air.. and really having an amazing time!
This was a very special moment seeing Hlaba Nkunze as relaxed as she normally is around the vehicle with her cub not too far away playing with the mongoose.
Hlaba Nkunze has given so much wonderful viewing over the past couple of years and it’s such a privilege to be able to view her cubs growing up under her care, she’s an awesome mother!!
This was a very special sighting and something we will always remember and this will add to all the wonderful memories we have of Hlaba Nkunze…. and now her cubs too!
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Thank You Heintich,
that must have been a magical moment to watch, I just love the look of "almost surprise" on the Cubs face when it actual catches something, just before it goes into Kitten mode and starts making friends with its food. Well Done.
What a very special sighting indeed! So sweet, this wee one! How old are Hlaba Nkunze’s cubs? Is this the same family who’s cub was in the lodge recently? Could you resize the bottom 3 photos of the cub with her prize for a better look – Thanks!
It was really amazing seeing the cub with the mongoose! I’ve resized the bottom 3 photos, they should work now, sorry about that!
The cubs are around 7 months old now… so they are really growing up! Yes, it is the same cub that was in the dining area last week…
I go away for 12 days on leave and i miss out on sooo much. This sighting takes me back to on of my first few months at Leopard Hills. This video was taken by Bruce and Wilma Whittaker where Hlaba Nkunzi as a cub caught a Dwarf mongoose, it wasnt caught on camera but it seems that is a right of passage. Check it out
I was one of the VERY LUCKY guests watching this amazing sequence. And I was so pleased that Heinrich had his big lens on his camera with a bird’s eye view. I just got to sit there and marvel at the entire behavior. And mama, Hlaba Nkunze, sat off to the side and just let her cub make the kill; her body language seemed to say, "I’ve taught you to do this, you can do it on your own, don’t look at me for help." Truly special.