Leopard diaries 2 March – 16 March 2012
Salayexe was seen a number of times, on two occasions right outside the lodge. She killed an impala ram on the helipad just behind the lodge but didn't take it up into a tree. The following morning we found her lying 20 metres away watching a hyena eat her well-earned kill.
Salayexe also had a small run in with Tingana at Serengeti a few nights ago. For some reason the large male got aggressive with her and attacked her. She managed to get up a tree and the male just sat at the bottom watching and waiting for her to come down. We are not sure how the situation ended but she has been seen since and is fine.
Tingana was also seen on a number of occasions covering his huge territory and marking as he went.
A nice surprise a few mornings ago, whilst looking for rhino on the Londolozi boundary. We saw leopard tracks and a few minutes later came across the leopard, it was Tyson. He didn't move north of the boundary but walked for some distance along it.
A real treat to see him again.
Other leopards seen in the past two weeks include Nsele, just a brief sighting but definitely Salayexe's first female cub. Karula, Lamula and Kwatile were also in the area.
The young Tsalala female lionesses made a buffalo kill during the week. They took their time feeding on it before leaving it only to kill a waterbuck bull a few days later. BB and the rest of the Tsalala Pride made a brief appearance at Big Dam but left after only a day.
The Tsalala lions had a little fun when they chased an African Civet up a tree. Civets are not really known for climbing but did what had to be done to escape certain death. The lions lay under the tree for the whole day and only in the evening when they started to move did the civet climb down. He was so tired he didn't even run away, just ambled along.
The Nkuhuma lionesses hung around for a few days as well. They made no kills whilst in the area but we did receive a report from the north that they had killed a wildebeest shortly after they left.
The Nkuhuma males moved through the area giving us a brief glimpse as they passed.
Other lions seen included the Styx Pride as well as the Four Ways Pride (from Kruger).
The smaller pack of three dogs has been moving between Safari and Elephant Plains airstrips killing several impala in the last week.
Plenty of new born zebras are providing fantastic game viewing around the airstrips; also a bush buck showing the results of a ferocious stand-off that these male antelope often have.
Something interesting practiced by the occasional antelope is Osteophagea, meaning to chew on bones. This is done by the animal when it feels like it lacks calcium in its diet and needs to supplement it. Here in the photograph belwow, a kudu cow has found an old bone and repeatedly picks it up, chews on it and drops it again.
Liam and the Simbambili team