Thursday, 7 May 2009

06th May – Argyle Male Leopard with Impala Kill

Wednesday morning started out with good news. The southern stations had already picked up Nthombi female leopard south of Double Highway, a far way to go, but worth it for a leopard like Nthombi! I decided to head that side, but was put in a bit of a predicament when Godfrey called to tell me that he had found Argyle male leopard with a fresh impala kill, not too far from camp. I decided that I would rather head down to Nthombi as I was half way there, while the other Motswari stations enjoyed the sight of this large male leopard feeding on an impala.
To my disappointment, I heard that Nthombi had been left unattended and would need to be tracked if I wanted to see her. I still decided to chance it, but soon found tracks for Mangadjane male leopard north of Vielmetter camp, and the workers there said that they had heard a leopard calling in the area a few minutes earlier. My tracker started following the tracks, but eventually Giyani bumped into a rather fat and sleepy Mangadjane sleeping right in the middle of the road! Following his impala kill a few days back, he must have had another small kill, possibly a baby impala or a duiker, and he was in no mood to do anything!

I never managed to get to the area where Nthombi had been seen, instead I headed back north to see the Argyle male who was now resting next to his kill. He was surprisingly aggressive towards the vehicle, and even from a reasonable distance was snarling and hissing at us! Despite this he was still relatively relaxed, and possibly just warning us not to come closer to his kill, as when he was found later in the afternoon resting up a nearby Mopane tree (he clearly doesn’t know what a good ‘leopard tree’ is!), he was fine.
My afternoon drive was a quiet one, and I checked to see if there was any sign of the Sohebele pride returning, but there was nothing in the north. Godfrey managed to find the three nomadic lions in their favourite spot near Mbali bush braai; once again, sleeping in an area where we do not drive off road! Luckily, they were still visible from the road, but they too were not looking too energetic. Andrew went after dark, and they were still there, just now lying in the open.

Mangadjane was found sleeping in the same place, and Godfrey was lucky enough to see some life in him as he got up and walked along the road.

Down south, Herald also saw a breeding herd of elephants, a sighting that continues to be frustratingly rare these days!

I look forward to seeing more of the Argyle male leopard over the next few days…

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