08 December to 14 December 2008
The last week has been incredible for Leopard sightings with many leopards seen and also with much interaction between the individuals. There have also been one or two days where no leopards were seen due to the bush being as thick as it is. There are a lot of baby impala running around at the moment which the leopards seem to be enjoying immensely!
Last Sunday the territorial male Mafufunyane was found off Tshlolo Road with a badly injured foot. We were unable to see what the problem was even when he walked past the vehicle and lay down next to it. It is possible that Tyson and Mafufunyane have had an altercation. Tyson has been seen the last couple of times pushing further and further into Mafufunyane's territory and the last time he was seen near Big Dam scent marking and salivating a lot which is indicative of a territorial dispute which could have meant trouble for Mafufunyane!
The two females Safari and Shadow almost bumped into each other this week as well! Shadow managed to see Safari in time and, although inquisitive as to who she was, quickly moved away using every bit of cover she could! Safari was found again a few days later just off the airstrip with a newborn impala kill. Some good new is that it is believed that she may have cubs from looking at the suckle marks on her! She has also been heading into the drainage line close to Seef''s Pan fairly frequently which may be her den site for the moment!
Nyalethi and Salayexe have also met in the last couple of days! Nyalethi and her cub were seen close to the rocks on a baby impala kill. The bush was very thick so visual was not all that good. Salayexe was then found not more than a hundered metres away also on an impala kill. She had managed to drag the meat up into a tree to protect it from other predators. Once her kill was finished she must have picked up the scent of her sister and the cub because she was walking through the bush smelling trees for up to five or ten minutes at a time! When they did confront each other there was no cub to be seen. We think the cub may have been hiding in the drainage line close to Nyalethi's recent kill. From what was seen there was no physical contact between the two but a lot of growling and scent marking went on before Nyalethi moved away, possibly to protect her cub.
All in all this week has been incredible with the bush being very green after all the rain! There have been a large number of buffalo and elephant moving back onto the propery from the south which is great news as well. Till next week!
Regards The Simbambili Team