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11 - 17 October 2010

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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11 - 17 October 2010

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Leopard diaries 11th - 17th October 2010

We have had good sightings of herds of buffalo in our aresta for the whole week. One of the herds was approximately 1300 strong. This big herd left most of the dams they came across empty, It was truly amazing seeing all those buffalo working and moving together like a well oiled machine. I think that this particular aggregation of buffalo is probably the biggest herd the Sabi Sand Wildtuin has ever had on the property since the fence dividing the reserve from the Kruger National Park was removed.

We also had fantastic elephant sightings during the week and we were privileged to find a big herd of elephants drinking at Ram Pan. On the edges of the water where it was muddier the young elephants began to wallow in the mud while the bigger more mature elephants looked on.

While we were watching that awesome sighting we heard an impala alarm call east of Elephant Plains Lodge. It turned out that they were disturbed by the presence of the dominant male leopard Tyson. We responded to the sighting and saw the big leopard lying under a Silver Cluster Leaf tree. We did not think we would see him for a while as we last saw him a week ago and he has an enormous territory to defend and patrol. We realized that he had an ugly tear through his right ear which he must have picked up in fight with another leopard coming into his territory. The young male leopard, Rhulani, Tyson's son, was also spotted at Big Dam, he looked very skittish and nervous and kept looking in a specific direction and so we decided to go and have a look. About 200 metres from Rhulani we saw two lionesses with a kill. Rhulani must have killed the impala and the was robbed by the lions.

Nyeleti the 7 year old female leopard was also seen in the Manyeleti River on an impala kill with her three cubs. We didn't see them very well as they were deep in the drainage line, but saw the young male cub beautifully posing for the cameras on a termite mound close by. Suddenly we were joined by a small family group of elephants and we thought that the elephants would chase the leopards away but funnily enough it was the opposite, the leopards kept the elephants at bay. We decided to move on as the elephants got pretty angry with the leopards and you do not want to get stuck between three leopards with a kill and some angry elephants.

Until next time

Simbambili team.

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