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Kgalagadi leopard identification

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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AstroMatt
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by AstroMatt » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:41 pm

@RichardJ...I dread to think how many I've missed :?

@Rookie....thanks for posting these great photos. :thumbs_up:
You are correct that your Christmas day sighting is of the Auchterlonie Female :thumbs_up: Were all these from the same sighting on that day ie morning or afternoon? If they were do you have a photo from the other one to check that it was the same leopard you saw each time...you never know ;)

Your sighting at Nossob is of Langklaas. :thumbs_up: It's great to know that she is still using that waterhole. If her mating earlier in the year was successful then she would be about a 20days or so from giving birth....watch this space :popcorn:
Kgalagadi Leopard Project
http://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.
F1/2014

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Rookie
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by Rookie » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:36 pm

Unfortunately the best I could do as she was lying pretty flat. Hope you can decipher something at least.

AstroMatt, when I wen onto your page to report the sighting, the web page to complete the info wasn't there. I could open the excel spreadsheet though for multiple sightings.

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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by wanderw » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:11 pm

@Rookie - Auchterlonie female again! :thumbs_up:
Kgalagadi Leopard Identification Guide and Sightings Form
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by Bushbuddies » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:09 am

Still need to upload my photos, but we had a lovely close-up sighting of what looks to me like Miera on 31/12/2013. Will post here and on AstroMatt's page as soon as I get to it...

Lovely sightings Rookie! :clap:
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AstroMatt
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by AstroMatt » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:44 pm

@Rookie...thanks for posting the afternoon picture. Wanderw is 100% correct that it is the Auchterlonie Female.

Looking forward to seeing those pics Bushbuddies :popcorn:

So to continue our sighting of Safran and Tebogo. Apologies if this takes a while to load for anyone....there are a few pics :redface:
On our way to the loo stop we bumped into Son Godin and PRwin (correct me if I have these names wrong). We told them of the leopards up the road and they quickly headed off. On our return journey we again bumped into them. They told us that they had found Safran in the river bed and the kill, but were confused as it was totally untouched and she looked quite full. This seemed odd to us as the kill had clearly been eaten.
When we approached the scene from the other direction we suddenly noticed that there was another kill stashed in a tree by the side of the road and it was indeed untouched. Sadly we couldn't find any leopards but we decided that with two stashed kills mere metres apart they would surely be back. So we headed home for lunch with the plan to return.

We made it back to the kill location at about 16:30 but there were no leopards in sight. We sat and checked all the trees. Suddenly we heard what we thought was a leopard call, we looked around and suddenly noticed down the road in the distance was Tebogo walking directly towards us.
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He continued towards the kill tree and briefly paused before heading for the river bed.
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We then realised that we had missed Safran lying in plain sight. She looked exactly like a termite mound!! We decided that it was her that had called. What happened next had us both completely speechless...Tebogo broke into a run and charged straight at Safran, they both jumped into the air and proceeded to play fight :big_eyes: Tebogo starts on the right and Safran is on the left.
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Safran had decided that was enough and walked towards us whilst Tebogo wandered off for a drink. She briefly fed on the kill stashed under the tree before heading back to the river.
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Tebogo again started walking towards Safran...obviously play time wasn't over!
Round 2.
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At the start of many of these fights Safran appeared to be quite submissive....but ended on top :)
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Really i think all Tebogo wanted was a cuddle :wink:
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Tebogo briefly wandered off under a tree whilst Safran had a quick drink before they decided that Round 3 was on....this time they played in the river. Tebogo is on the right.
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Picasa has just magically made this animated gif of the last fight.
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This sighting didn't end here but i will save the rest for a second post...
Last edited by AstroMatt on Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kgalagadi Leopard Project
http://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.
F1/2014

Evel
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by Evel » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:47 pm

Awesome sighting Astromatt, we heard all about your sightings when speaking to Franco at Grootkolk, we were there the 16-18th December. We spotted what I think is Tebogo or Safran on the morning of the 18th December walking in the riverbed south of Kanagauus being harassed by two jackals. Can you confirm this?

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Last edited by Evel on Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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AstroMatt
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by AstroMatt » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:30 pm

@Evel...I'm glad Franco was passing the info along. The camp attendants are so important to the project and they really know these leopards. I really want to try and get them some basic cameras and binoculars to document what they see as currently they have nothing. If any one has any that you'd like to donate then please PM me, or email the project.

Thanks everyone for your kind words. We really were lots for words during this sighting...and it was made all the more special because we were the only ones there for the whole of it.

So to conclude the story.
After the fight in the river they both took a breather for a few minutes. Here you can really see how Tebogo on the left is now bigger than mum!
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She's done really well to raise such a great young boy...lets hope he stays clear of the bigger boys for a while.
Safran decided to wander away but Tebogo clearly wasn't finished...Round 4!
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Safran (who finishes on the left) clearly wasn't happy with Tebogo's play fighting style and gave him a good telling off!
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It was at this point that I remembered that my camera would do take movies...I switched to movie (seemed like it took an age) and hoped they would play again. We were delighted when they put on one more performance for us.

In many ways this is our favourite of their play fights as you can clearly see Safran trying to calm Tebogo down half way through....and just like any young cat he takes no for an answer. It is also clear how much love there is between them.

After this we didn't think it could get any better for the rest of the trip.
With the light reaching that magical time they decided to wander over towards us and try and squeeze some more springbok into their stomachs.
Safran
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Tebogo
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Tebogo only fed briefly whilst Safran hid herself away under the tree eating. He then cam even close and used the car as a bit of shade whilst he cleaned himself.
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Eventually like all kids he decided he was full and worn out and decided a nap was best!


Two hours had flown by and time had run out on us and we had to leave :( ....but there was still an untouched kill in the tree by the road so we made a plan to come back the following morning. :wink:
Kgalagadi Leopard Project
http://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.
F1/2014

Evel
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by Evel » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:26 pm

Ok so I have been chatting to Astromatt and he has confirmed that the leopard I saw between Kanagauus and Lijersdraai on the 18th Dec was Rosa :D

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Thanks for your help Astromatt!

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AstroMatt
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by AstroMatt » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:33 pm

Happy to help....she is looking very well fed in your pictures :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
Thanks for reporting it.

It seems that the Grootkolk area is bursting with leopards at the moment....anyone going up soon?
Kgalagadi Leopard Project
http://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.
F1/2014

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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by Bushbuddies » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:07 am

The morning of 31 December, we were travelling from KTC to TR. At about 9:15, halfway between Rooibrak and Montrose, we saw this leopard on the other side of the riverbed, under a tree.

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She was sniffing around, and eventually picked up what looked like a springbok leg and started chewing it.

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It didn't keep her busy for too long, and she was up again soon, and walking around under the tree.

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And then, our wish came true - she started walking straight towards us! :dance:

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It was magical. Initialy there were 2 other cars at the sighting, but they left already. We spent some close up time with who we believe to be Miera:

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By looking at her close up, we actually thought she was still a very young leopard, with her pink nose. She is also not a very big leopard.

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She did seem very used to attention, and not shy at all! :D

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Allowing me to take great shots! :cam:

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She sniffed at our car's rear tyre (she was definitely shorter than the tyre height), and crossed over to the other side:

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What a sighting - what an absolute privelage to meet this beautiful dainty lady! :D
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12-14 June 2017 - Talamati
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lion queen
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by lion queen » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:11 pm

Warona - 9 November 2013 10H17

6 km North of Monro

She was watching something small and next moment sprinted to whatever she saw, but then sat down??

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Matthew, thanks the help of this afternoon was just what I needed to have success in uploading GIF files!! :gflower: :gflower: So much more than just a Leopard Guru....... :dance: :dance:
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by Son godin » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:19 pm

Evel wrote:Ok so I have been chatting to Astromatt and he has confirmed that the leopard I saw between Kanagauus and Lijersdraai on the 18th Dec was Rosa :D


Great shot of Rosa. We heard from other visitors that there was a leopard at Lijersdraai waterhole, but never found it except for Safran not too far away on 10 Dec.
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lion queen
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by lion queen » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:51 pm

Thank Son Godin!

She then walked up the ridge and all along the top before getting down and laying in a "cave"

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AstroMatt
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by AstroMatt » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:00 pm

@Bushbuddies.....lovely sighting of Miera. We weren't lucky enough to see her even with a lot of trying! You have some lovely photos of her, and you are right she is very relaxed around cars which can make the sighting quite exciting :D

You are also right that she isn't a huge leopard but size is a difficult one to relate to age. Most of the female leopards can appear to be quite small particularly if you are used to seeing the big males. If you look at my earlier picture of Tebogo walking in the road he is only as tall as the road side verge and Safran who is an established female is smaller then him! If you had Safran and Miera next to each other I would bet there wouldn't be a huge size difference.
AstroMatt wrote:Image


You also mention the nose colour...again I should warn you that the nose colours are not great indicators of age.
Bushbuddies wrote:Image

Take a look at the close up picture of Tebogo below. He is about half Miera's age but has a completely black (or dark) nose. The variations in nose colour are not particularly well understood.
AstroMatt wrote:Image


If I can also use Safran as another example. She has quite a pink nose and is most likely 7+ years old.
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What is a much better indicator of age is the staining on the canine teeth, the older the leopard the more staining. These photos are a great example of this. If you look at the three pictures above then you would clearly place them in the correct age order. However, estimating a more precise age bracket does require a lot more knowledge.

@Son Godin...at least you can see what you missed ;) I think you are right Gharagab is a bit too far for the evening drive, but i've been told the camps waterhole is becoming more active.
Hopefully next time we'll be in the same camp for a shared sighting. :thumbs_up:

@Lion Queen....great gifs of Warona. She is becoming quite the tormentor of small animals :D Glad I could help.
Kgalagadi Leopard Project
http://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.
F1/2014

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lion queen
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Re: Kgalagadi leopard identification

Unread post by lion queen » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:07 pm

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She later lay down flat and it was getting "late" so we moved on. We spend quite some time there with her and not another car in sight!!
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