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Leopard Diaries 30 May-5 June 2011

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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Leopard Diaries 30 May-5 June 2011

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Leopard Diaries 30 May-5 June 2011

This week proved to be difficult for sightings of cats in general, with most of the lions in the area out of our traversing and leopards failing to make their regular appearances. This is most unusual for Simbambili but the sightings we did have were worthwhile. We also experienced two cold fronts moving through the area.

Leopard

The female leopard Salayexe made a few, brief appearances around Serengeti and the Rocks, we suspect she has left her cubs in a drainage system close to Elephant Plains but can't be sure. The last confirmed sighting of the two tiny cubs was on the 19th of May. Moya has also been hanging around Serengeti, she was seen scent marking there and to the south on the 1st. This week there was no sign of Nyeleti.

The bib territorial male leopard, Tyson finally showed up again, on the 31st. We followed him a short way from the road to an old termite mound in which a warthog was present. We sat in anticipation as the warthog slowly moved from his burrow and once clear, Tyson made his move. The fight went in favour of the warthog as he managed to escape after first getting the leopard off his back and then ramming him with his head and tusks, Tyson knew the warthog was too big for him, and did not pursue him.

Lion

Only the Styx pride and the male coalition were seen this week in the eastern parts of our traversing, the females of the Styx pride killed a mature kudu bull south of the Chitwa airstrip. Once all the lionesses and the cubs in the pride had eaten, there was not much meat left for later sightings. Once full, the mother of the cubs moved them away from the kill back south towards Mala Mala.

By the time the four male lions came across the carcass in the morning, there was little for them to feed on as a number of vultures and a few black backed jackals had already started tearing at the remains.

Elephant

Breeding herds of elephants have been quite plentiful in the area, and are always a pleasure to watch. Moving throughout our traversing, herds of different sizes and all different ages are to be found.

We had fantastic experience with a tiny calf of under six months, charging the vehicle trying to scare us off while the rest of the herd paid us no attention.

Very few mature bulls have been seen lately, the odd young bull here or there but that's all. A very unfortunate young bull has been seen with a broken leg, no one is sure as to how he broke it but it is heart breaking to watch as he tries to stay with his herd.

Buffalo & Rhinoceros

Only one herd of buffalo was seen on the 4th, close to the Kruger boundary, there were an estimated 300 animals in the herd. They didn't hang around in the area long and just passed through and by the afternoon they were gone.

The usual old bulls have still been hanging around in various waterholes and mud wallows on our property.

Three rhino have been seen regularly around the Safari airstrip, The Londolozi bull and two cows moving with him. They have spent most of their days in the bush but have come out onto the airstrip at Buff pan in the evenings to wallow and drink.

Very good news for the rhino population, a cow with a very young calf has been spotted on several occasions in the area. The calf looks to be around 6 weeks old now and although the cow seems relaxed, the youngster is still wary of the vehicles.

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