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Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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Liam Rainier

Liam Rainier

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Leopard Diaries 18-31 May 2012

By Liam Rainier
Leopard Diaries  18 May 2012

The first cold front of the season has come and gone dropping the temperatures in the lowveld to around five degrees Celsius in the early mornings. The Red Bush willows and the Knob Thorns are losing their leaves and the grass is brown and dry, causing even the lightest footed animal to rustle as it moves through the undergrowth. Winter is finally here.

Leopard Diaries 8 May - 22 May 2012

By Liam Rainier
Leopard Diaries 8 May 2012

Leopard

adult male leopard

Leopard Diaries 23 March - 4 April

By Liam Rainier
Leopard Diaries 23 March - 4 April 2012

Leopard
leopard-01 leopard-02

Tingana and Salayexe were seen mating again during the week. This time it seems for real as they mated non-stop for a full three days. When they mated previously it only lasted a day, if that long, and it was probably a result of Salayexe chasing Shadow away from Tingana when they were mating. Now it seems that she is properly in oestrus so hopefully she will give birth to her next litter around the end of June, beginning of July.
leopard-03 leopard-04

Nsele was found on the Robson's boundary, the first time she has been spotted since July 2011. It seems that she has cemented her territory just to the west of Simbambili and Elephant Plains and news from Singita is that they see her on a regular basis in this area. It was good to see she is still doing well and looking extremely healthy.


leopard-05leopard-06The most regular sighting of the resident leopards in the area over the past two weeks have been of the dominant male, Tingana. He has been seen patrolling far into Arathusa Safari property so seems to be extending his territory even further east. He now dominates most of the western sector.

Ntima has also been seen frequently crossing from the east into the west. It is always great to see this very successful female leopard, despite her age of about 15 years she is still hunting well and was also found mating with Lamula recently.

Lion

lion-07 lion-08
lion-09 lion-10


We haven't had extensive lion sightings of late but we were lucky to have the Styx pride with us during the week. They had brought down a wildebeest cow on the Arathusa airstrip, when we found them early in the morning they had already fed quite well; in fact, most of the wildebeest had already been eaten. By 8 o'clock every scrap of meat had been consumed and they were resting in the thickets along the fringes of the strip. By the afternoon all that was left were some bones that the hyenas gratefully chewed on.

Other sightings

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Elephant viewing has been great with large breeding herds as well as a few large bulls providing fantastic sightings on game drives. Here we see a small herd having a drink at big dam while two of the younger bulls playfully fight each other into the water, these two bulls have probably formed a really strong bond and they are likely to stay together through the duration of their lives.
other-13

Not only was it great to see the Lesser Moorhen on its own but there are two chicks with the adult. The heavy rains have left many wetland areas and these have attracted many uncommon birds much to the delight of all the keen birders that come and visit us here at Simbambili.

Regards,

The Simbambili team

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