So to finish off our sighting from December 2013.
After leaving Warona in the company of lions the previous day I was delighted when on our way to Twee Rivieren, Koru (driving) exclaimed, very calmly, like she was discussing what was for dinner, that there was a leopard lying on a sociable weavers nest!
Apparently she had seen her from miles away!
So our little lady had survived the encounter and was now looking a whole lot more comfortable.
This was a few 100m north of Munro at 15:00.
She seems extremely content with her choice of nests and we decided that we would wait this out...However long it would take.
The constant chattering of the birds and their aerial passes was obviously disturbing her sleep.
The sociable weavers were quite funny. Every now and then they would realise that there was a large predator on their nest and start alarm calling. Then they would forget!
Definitely pondering her stomach
After deciding the birds were a no go something on the ground caught her attention.
After racing down the tree she quickly glanced at us as if to check we were still there.
Then she decided to retrieve her victim who was trying to make a... slow get away!
Big 5 and little 5
Looking very proud with her catch!
If you can't eat it...play with it.
She kept flicking the leopard tortoise around for about 30mins! During this time she climbed back up to the weavers nest and gave it a good bash with her paw.
However, she quickly got distracted with the tortoise only to return a few seconds later to play with it. Just like all kittens she tried rolling on her back and using the back legs....fail!
During all this play, she popped back up the tree to bash the weavers nest a few times. Unfortunately quite a few cars had arrived and so we didn't move. Right decision when she returned again to play with the tortoise. Notice the very very white teeth.
After quite a bit of wandering around under the tree she suddenly heard something and wandered out the back.
After quite a few minutes however she returned and looked around.
Then she went into full stalk mode!
She suddenly ran right behind our car and stopped just behind us....peering over the sand bank. Then we realised that she was stalking a ground squirrel. She was about 3-4m away in plain sight but the squirrel hadn't got a clue!
One lucky squirrel! Unfortunately a 300m lens and the wrong side of the car was too much for this action.
Not satisfied with her failed hunt she tried flushing the squirrel out.
Unfortunately that squirrel was holding tight.
She then picked up a yellow mongoose on the other side of the road. A quick dash and stalk through was seen from miles away.
By now it was getting late and we had to leave to make gate closing. A hungry Warona was left lying in the shade.
This was our final leopard sighting in December and a really special one for us having seen her last year as a tiny cub. She certainly seems to be spending some time away from mum and is trying to hunt more. Hopefully she will hang around and keep entertaining us all for a while
_________________Kgalagadi Leopard Projecthttp://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/
Please use the online form or download the spreadsheet to report leopard sightings.
You can also download a free copy of the identification guides for KTP and Augrabies.