It has been another action packed month out in the bush for all involved at Leopard Hills. Over this month some guests and rangers alike have experienced some pretty unique sightings, from a female Leopard giving it her all to protect her cubs from a Hyena, to a male Leopard killing an Impala and doing some impossible acrobatics to secure the kill in a tree.
Dayone is once again moving a lot, and covering big areas. His limp has improved and he is pretty much walking as if he doesn’t have any injuries any more.
Kashane has spent most of the month to the east with very few sightings of him in the West.
After the previous months Nyeleti seems to have been able to avoid further confrontation with the unidentified male, and recovered from the wounds. Nyeleti was the male Leopard that gave us a spectacular show as he killed an Impala behind the vehicle and then proceeded to take it up a tree, to avoid kleptoparasitism from a Hyena. For a while he couldn’t find a branch to safely secure the kill, and there were tense moments when everyone thought he was going to drop it into the Hyena’s mouth. He managed to jump at least two meters across to another branch with the Impala in his mouth.
Torchwood wasn’t seen very much this month, with him still being very nomadic and avoiding the dominant males.
Every now and again the Ravenscourt male will wander into the Western Sector, exploring a bit and then returning East.
It seems to now be confirmed that both of Hlaba Nkunzi’s cubs have been killed. We are not sure what happened, but we were all very sad with this news. It seems that she might be looking to reclaim her old stomping grounds in the Western Sector, as we have been seeing a lot more of her in this past month.
Thlangisa, the protector, is the female Leopard mentioned above, protecting her cubs. While we were enjoying a sighting with her and the two cubs, a Hyena appeared, investigating the area where Thlangisa had an Impala kill hoisted up a tree. When the Hyena came to close to one of the cubs and the cub not realising the Hyena was approaching, Thlangisa sprang into action, leaping out of the tree and attacking the Hyena with vigour. The Hyena did not know what hit it and made its way quickly out of the area. Both cubs are doing extremely well and their mom is taking care of them in the best way possible.
Xikavi was once again found mating a couple of times with Nyeleti. We are all hoping that she will have at least one successful litter.
The Scotia female seems to be spending a little bit more time in the Western Sector. On one occasion she stole a Waterbuck kill from a male Cheetah.
With the Majingilane coalition now having such a massive territory to control, we do not see a lot of them. This is a good thing for the two prides. These four males are definitely a force to be reckoned with as they all stand very tall and proud when they move through the West. When they were in the area they were mating with the one Othawa female again.
The Othawa pride has been moving a lot to avoid the Majingilane males. There are only two sub-adult cubs left in the pride, one male and one female. One of the cubs was separated for a couple of days, but luckily the Lionesses managed to find her again.
The Ximhungwe pride has also been moving from West to East to avoid the Majingilane. With a Lionesses leg being found on a bush walk, we have come to the conclusion that one of the Ximhungwe females has unfortunately been killed. We do not know if it were Hyenas or possibly a rogue male Lion, that was also seen in that area, that had killed her. The pride now consists of two adult females, one sub-adult male and four sub-adult females.
Cheetah sightings have once again been amazing, with us being able to see a different males and female moving through the area.
The Hyena population has sky rocketed in the West. Very few drives go by without seeing at least one individual. With their high presence, it has forced the Leopards to start thinking a lot more about hoisting their kills.
Some days go by where the bush will be quiet in terms of the mammals, but the birds are always there to entertain us.
General game sightings have also been spectacular, ranging from Side Striped Jackal to Reedbuck.
As we head into August we start to feel the change in seasons as the wind will start to pick up and with that the Spring will also start to come. For more daily updates follow and like us on www.facebook.com/LeopardHills.
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Video of Thlangisa protecting her cubs courtesy of Leopard Hills guest Phil Anastasio.
Written and compiled by Hugo Breed, Johan de la Rey and Reece Verdoorn.