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Leopard

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks

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Re: Leopard

Unread postby Cheetahs » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:24 am

Great leopard sigthings :thumbs_up: ,aren't they just the most beautifull animals,well done :clap: :clap:

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Re: Leopard

Unread postby bishop3006 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:28 pm

Over on the quizzes the issue of black leopards and panthers came up, and I had to search for the following in MAN/Magnum, the hunting/shooting/firearms magazine of South Africa. Not quite what I remembered, but I may have confused problem spotted hyeana with problem black leopard, but not sure. Thought I'd share this here on the leopard thread as well, since there has bene some discussions about the Lydenburg black leopard.

I'm typing (so spelling mistakes are mine) up the letter and the editors' answer, from the November 2006 issue of MAN/Magnum - hope you guys find it interesting:

Black Leopards

I was returning to Cape Town via the Garden Route during October 1969. I preferred to drive at night as it was cooler and since the car I was driving (DKW) was equipped with a freewheel device; it was a petrol-saver to coast down the hills with the engine switched off. It must have been around 11pm and I was coasting down the Blaaukrantz pass when I saw a troop of baboons running and jumping across the road and disappearing down the right side of the road. I stopped the car, and as there was a bright moon in addition to the light provided by the headlights, I could see that the baboons were very agitated. Shortly after the last baboon had vanished over the edge I saw a large leopard jump down into the road, pause for a moment, and then follow the baboons. Though I could clearly see that it was a leopard, I could not understand why I could see no markings - it appeared black.

About 1998, I read a report in a magazine about a variant of African leopard found in the Eastern Cape, called the Eastern Cape Black Leopard. The report stated that they had been regularly seen in the Somerset East district. Only this year (2006) did I take the time to research it further and found to my amazement that the Blaaukrantz gorge was also listed as a refuge of the black leopard. Can you please tell me if my information is correct and if it was possible that it was actually a black leopard. DP, Eastern Cape

MAN/Magnum Response:
There is every likelihood that you did see a black leopard. This variation has been well-documented during the past century or two, throughout much of Africa and Asia, but has always been extremely rare. Grahamstown and Albany of the Eastern Cape are on record as districts where sightings have been made (R. Lydekker in Harmsworth Natural History.) Several museum specimens exist.

It seems there are variations of black leopard. Firstly, it is not a subspecies of leopard. It is a melanistic mutation, that is to say, it's just a colour thing, in the same way that you get black springbuck, and white bushbuck, etc. (White antelope are not to be confused with albinos - which also occur. Albino antelope have pink eyes and pink noses. Melanistic mutations have black eyes and noses, and are normal in every way, other than having white coats.)

A melanistic leopard has a genetic mutation that causes it to produce more black pigment (eumelanin) than yellow/gold pigment (pheomelanin.) Though this produces a largely black coat, darker rosettes can usually still be seen if you are up close and the light is right. In the wild, however, the leopard generally appears to be pitch-black. Actual pitch-black leopards and jaguars have been known to exist, but are very rare.

Variations of melanistic leopards occur, starting with a dark ginger-chocolate background, showing the black rosettes more clearly. Some backgrounds are even partially orange-gold or dark chestnut on parts of the body, and almost black elsewhere. These are known as pseudo-melanistic leopards.

There is also another so-called black leopard, but it appears that this is an 'ordinary' leopard whose spots are much denser, closer together and more numerous, making it look black in the bush. Settlers in South Africa often spoke of two 'types' or 'races' of leopard, the normal one and the 'black' leopard (denser rosettes) claiming the two to occupy different types of habitat. It is difficult to tell where melanistic leopards end, and pseudo-melanistic leopards begin - sightings are rare, and usually fleeting. However, black leopards have been bred in captivity, and it is said that a pair of black leopards will always produce black offspring. Historically the term 'panther' has been applied to black leopards, but in fact all leopards are panthers.
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Re: Leopard

Unread postby anne-marie » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:13 am

:thumbs_up: thanks Bishop, very interesting
in French, we say : une panthère noire and un léopard :wink:
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Re: Leopard

Unread postby bert » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:34 pm

Found this young one on the Timbavati road.
A Landrover in front of us pointed to the leopard
At first could not find it
Was 5 mtrs from the car
Image

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Leopard info please

Unread postby carolynn » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:39 pm

On our March trip to Kruger we were aware of at least two leopard sightings - one just north of Satara and one near Tshokwane -(but not fortunate enough to see, though everyone else seemed to!) where there were two adult leopards together at both sightings and were seen in the same spot over a number of days, so assume must have been a mating pair. A few questions - 1. does the male go into the females's territory looking for a mate, or does she go into his? 2. How often do they mate - I know lions are about every 20 mins, I think for a couple of days - and how long do they stay together during this time? 3. Is it usual for them to remain more or less in the same area during this time? 4. Do they eat at all during this time? 5. Will a male tolerate a female with a cub in his territory if he knows it is his offspring, or don't they know this? 6. Is this the time of the year more suited to mating as this seemed to be more prevalent this year seeing two adults together, or was it just a co-incidence? Thanks!
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Re: Lepoard info please

Unread postby wanderw » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:45 pm

Hi carolynn!
I will try to answer your Qs from info I have got out of books and our limited leopard sightings(mostly in KTP).

1) The male's range is much bigger than a female's range, and normally includes the ranges of a few females.( In KTP the Leeudril male's range includes the ranges of 3 females that we know of) The male does wander about his range checking if any females are ready to mate(per KTP ranger). Also the female can leave her range in search of a mate, but returns to her range. Note that a KTP male and female's ranges our much larger than male and female ranges in Kruger.

2)From the books - for 1 to several days! How often - (from a sighting in KTP) - We saw them mate twice in 2 minutes, then they took a break to go feed on the springbok kill in a tree(Q4). When we arrived, a friendly guy who had been watching them for a half hour, told us we had exactly 3 minutes to get ready,as they mated every 3 minutes and had just finished. Well, we waited about 20 min before we finally saw them mate.

3) We saw them in the same area the next day - 3km from the original tree. Also, other sightings that we have read about in sightings books, tend to indicate that the mating pair stays in the same area for a few days.

4)As answered in Q2 - they had made a kill and were intermittently feeding on it. Also, when we saw them the next day, the female was looking very interested in a springbok ram, until the ram saw her and ran off with a snort.

5)Yes - will definitely tolerate the cub. We also have seen the male(Leeudril male), female and cub together. The cub was a 6 months old male(Jannie) and was most unhappy about all the attention dad was showing mom. Dad on the other hand, was very accommodating, and when the cub was between mom and dad, and snarled at dad, dad sidestepped the cub to get to mom. Further info - the male will also tolerate his sub-adult offspring in his range, will try to avoid meeting each other(per ktp ranger).

6) From the books - tend to mate all year round! (We saw the mating pair in April!) In Kruger ?

If anyone else can help with more info re Kruger leopards, please do. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

Hope this helps a bit carolynn! :D
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

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Re: My Kruger Exsperiences ( The Jeep yogi Version)

Unread postby Dirk.V.E. Neethling » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:00 pm

Here is same photos's of my leopards I have seen:

These photos of Leopard kill 400m from Kruger gate towords Skukuza
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This one of a large male one morning early, was the first Animal for the day:
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This one of a female on the S65 at the Nwaswitshaka causeway
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Re: My Kruger Exsperiences ( The Jeep yogi Version)

Unread postby Dirk.V.E. Neethling » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:27 pm

Same more pics.....

This of n male also on the S65 at the Nwaswitshaka causeway, I took 114 photos of him that Day, gave us s nice show!!
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Last edited by Elsa on Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: pic resized.
My TR:
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Re: My Kruger Exsperiences ( The Jeep yogi Version)

Unread postby Dirk.V.E. Neethling » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:08 pm

And here is same more...

Image

Image

Image

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My TR:
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Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!

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Re: Leopard

Unread postby onewithnature » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:14 am

I have a curious question: can two male leopards cross within 50 metres of each other? Wouldn't they put up some display regarding the mutual encroachment on their personal territories?
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Re: Leopard

Unread postby Birdie » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:27 am

I would have expected the fur to fly! I don't think that it is usual for them to be so near to each other without putting up some show. I looked it up in two books, both say that males are loners and their territories usually don't overlap. I also read about a study where 5 males were monitored. 3 died after fights with other males.
Wish I could have seen those two beautiful spotted cats!

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Re: Leopard

Unread postby Nico » Fri May 01, 2009 10:51 pm

great photo Johan.

Here I have two old Leopard video's that I made in Krugerpark some years ago.

Video The Leopard Kill: [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1XS65b-vKI[/video]

and video, The Vegetarian Leopard: [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5sPXrqGL5k[/video]

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Re: Leopard

Unread postby Emily86 » Sat May 02, 2009 1:12 am

Wonderful Nico, as always :clap:
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Re: Leopard

Unread postby bishop3006 » Tue May 19, 2009 10:41 am

This is probably during the wildebeest migration up north, so is not SANParks, but wow, have you ever seen a leopard doing this? Saw this YouTube video linked on another site and just had to share it here!!

Leopard taking down 2 blue wildebeest!! Speak about taking the opportunity!

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S09BMF7wMPE[/video]
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Re: Leopard

Unread postby MikeGoss » Sat May 23, 2009 12:51 pm

We had taken a wrong turning from the planned route on the last morning of our April 2009 visit and turned to go back the way we had just come. Lo and behold what had we just passed....

Wonderful wonderful sighting to share with you all.

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