Leopard Diaries August 2012
The dominant male leopard in the west of our traverse area, known as Tingana, was seen stealing a female bushbuck off one of the female leopards close to Simbambili Lodge. Male leopards will often scavenge from smaller predators including other leopards. Female leopards really do have a tough time, especially when they have cubs as they are pressurised to make kills more frequently to feed their ravenous offspring. Where a fully grown impala will last a female leopard on her own up to three days, it will only last her a day with fast growing cubs and therefore she will be under a huge amount of pressure to provide enough meat for her family, never mind herself. So as hard as it is to raise cubs on their own, they then have to cope with the much larger male leopards that at any given chance will push the poor females off their well-earned kills. Although male leopards do indirectly play a role in protecting their young by defending their territory against other males who will kill young leopards not belonging to them, they don’t directly help raise their own cubs.