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Leopard Diaries 17th - 23rd May 2010

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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Leopard Diaries 17th - 23rd May 2010

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Leopard Diaries 17th - 23rd May 2010

leopard1The week has proved to us that we cannot always predict what we will find when departing on a game drive. The lion prides that have been so visible over the last few months have only been seen once this week.

This has allowed us to follow animals that we do not see nearly as often, with cheetah being seen every day this week and two different sightings of wild dog also being enjoyed.

There has been a definite change in the weather with, winter having arrived. The morning and evening game drives are now really chilly. The early morning mist has made for some stunning vistas as we start out on drive.

Leopard

Leopard have been seen on a number of occasions this week, we have been seeing a territorial struggle over the last few days, as Safari and Mbilo are trying to contend for the prized area around Big Dam. Safari, the old leopard female has been found roaring and scent marking in the area.

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Nsele was found on the remains of an impala kill, it appears that she is starting to venture further and further from her sibling and mother and it should not be long before she sets off as an independent leopard. Salayexe, her mother has been moving through her territory daily and it is thought that she may be coming back into oestrus and looking for a suitable male.

Lion

Lion have been very conspicuous by their absence. We have only seen them on one occasion this week, when the Styx pride was found on Sunday morning, resting in the watery sunshine. They got active later in the day and were left as they moved off into some thickets.

Elephant

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Three large herds of elephants have been seen, moving and feeding through the property.

The seasonal movements of these large pachyderms, is rather unpredictable and after having a large number of elephants on the area over the last three weeks, the numbers have dropped and we are once again having to actively track elephants.

Buffalo & Rhinoceros

The rhinoceros sightings have been good, with the crash of four rhino being seen on a number of occasions as they moved through their territory.

Buffalo numbers have been good with an exceptionally large herd of approximately 600 animals being seen over a three day period as they moved steadily eastwards.

Wild Dog

The presence of a pack of five wild dogs, which have a den on a neighbouring property where four new pups have been seen, has made it easier to find them on a more regular basis. They are favouring the area around one of our airstrips that has a large impala population and is providing an ample hunting ground. We have seen the pack on two occasions this week, both of which was highlighted by them feeding on a freshly killed impala. The denning process should last approximately three months and we hope to have many more sightings of these rare and elusive predators.

Cheetah

The highlight of the week has been the presence of the female cheetah and her approximately 10 month old female cub. The pair of cheetah has spent the majority of the week hunting in the area of Simbambili and have managed to bring down two impala.

 

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