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Leopard stories / info

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Leopard stories / info

Unread post by LEIGHVLASSO » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:35 am

We often travel to the park - our favourite camp being Balule which we frequent. We've heard so many stories about the elusive Balule Resident Leopard that frequents the camps surrounds and the olifants river below camp. Can anyone tell me about their sightings of her or even show some pics. We heading up this weekend again and really holding thumbs we get to see her.
We would also love to hear any other stories of your stays at Balule, we taking friends up with us and can you believe it both South African born and breed and NEVER been to the Park. What better way to start them off than at Balule!!!!

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Unread post by wingman » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:01 am

Hi Leigh
this pic was taken at long range off the high level bridge in 2006 and is probably one of the leopards talked about. We often see leopard in the baulule area as well as the wild dog.
have a great trip

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Unread post by LEIGHVLASSO » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:24 am

WOW STUNNING!!! Thanx so much

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Unread post by Bush Andy » Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:04 am

I have a story that will probably make everyone on this thread extremely jealous but you asked for it :wink:

We had never stayed at Balule before and decided to stay for three nights in December last year (2007)

We heard and saw hyena's on all the nights and heard lions roaring close to the camp on our last night but back to the Leopard!

We had just started braaiing on our second night at about 19:00 when we heard the tell tale growl of a leopard very close to the fence on the River-side of the camp.
Not expecting to see anything we contently carried on listening to the growls.
However we soon realised that there were actually two leopards growling and snarling.

Very soon the whole camp was congregated in the North-Eastern corner of the camp trying to find the leopards in the riverine bush... suddenly, with the grace that only these cats possess, two adult leopards came out from behind a knob-thorn tree and :D mated :D
about 30m from the fence in the open :mrgreen:
To top it all off a hyena came bounding down the fence line and ran straight into the two leopards.
I have never seen a hyena reverse so quickly :lol:

Unfortunately I do not have pics as the light was to poor but it is without a doubt the best leopard sighting i will ever see and that moment will be with me and everyone who was there forever!
A bird in the hand should be in the Bush!! ;)

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Unread post by Elsa » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:46 pm

Bush Andy, that must have been such an awesome experience to witness, as you say one of those that lives with you forever. :D

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Re: 3 leopard day

Unread post by johanrebel » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:11 pm

aidan wrote:Has anyone else ever seen 3 different leopards in one day at Kruger?
Personally never more than five, but I know somebody who saw six on a morning game drive from Skukuza to Afsaal, and someone else who saw seven along one and the same road on a night drive from Byamiti.

Edited to add that the six en route to Afsaal were single leopards in six separate sightings, so not of the "female with two/three cubs" variety. It happened in the early 90s.

Can't remember in how many sightings the Byamiti seven were spotted, but they were all along the river between the camp and the weir. Late 90s.

Weird things happen! I recall driving between Tshokwane and Satara one morning, and frist finding a leopard fast asleep in the tar road, then a civet (!) snoozing on the tar, and then another leopard sleeping in the road. And it had not even been a cold night.

Last edited by johanrebel on Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Leopard treed by lions on Biyamiti Road

Unread post by bigcats » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:05 pm

We stayed near Crocodile Bridge Gate last week, and the whole experience was amazing!
It was my first time at Kruger.

One particularly exciting sighting was on the Biyamiti Road (the private road that leads to the camp) last Thursday, 9th October, at about 9:30am.
We stopped one guy to ask if he'd seen anything interesting.
He replied, in a bored tone, "Oh, not much, just a small pride of lions on the Biyamiti Road."
What an attitude!
Then we were flagged down by a guy who excitedly told us that a leopard had been treed by a pride of lions a few kilometres down the road.

When we arrived, we spotted the leopard, which was laying on the first branch of a tree, about 30-40 metres from the road.
It was a large male (I think).
Near the bottom of the tree were three adult female, one adult male, and two juvenile lions.
The lions were laid down, occasionally getting up to stretch.
The female nearest the tree seemed to be keeping her eye on the leopard.

We stayed around for about 45 minutes, before deciding to move on, in search of more leopard, and wild dog.
Later, in a chance meeting on the road, we spoke to the people who had seen the leopard being chased up the tree!

Does anyone know what became of the leopard?
I wonder how long the lions stuck around.
Last edited by bigcats on Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grumpy leopard attacks car...

Unread post by Die Groot Krokodil » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:40 am

Last monday (Jan 5th) just south of Ngotso we can across the usual circus of cars associated with a good siting and while slowing down to see what was happening a leopard rushed out from the side of the road and lashed out at one of the parked cars only to then dash under a culvert on the side of the road...

Unfortunately we were unable to get photo's of the attack and while talking to one of the other parked vehicles we were then informed that this was the second vehicle it had attacked.
We learned further that Earle this leopard had try to catch a porcupine only to have a quill buried in it's head for its efforts.

We waited around and shortly it appeared on the other side of the road and the moved off deeper into the bush.
We managed to get a few pictures (which aren't the greatest) but it clearly shows why the leopard was so grumpy!
We also noticed that this leopard was collared.

Does anyone know about the reason for the collar and what research is being done on this particular leopard?

I would also be interested to know if anyone has seen this leopard since and whether it managed to get the quill out as I understand that they don't come out very easily at all!

I've got a few pics but can't seem to work out how to post them so if you're interested in seeing them let me know how and I'll attach!

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Re: Grumpy leopard attacks car...

Unread post by Liesl » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:22 pm

This could be the leopard that was darted and collared on the safari live programme that was on National Geographic.
Although I could be completely wrong.
I know a student was doing research on Leopard habits and distribution etc.
Would also like to hear more about the research.

After do a bit of internet investigations it appears as if African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is conducting the Greater Kruger Leopard Research Project.
Not sure if this leopard forms part of this research.
The aim of the project is to determine the population of leopards, their habitat use and ranging patterns and prey species abundance in and across the Singita Game Reserves and specific regions of the Kruger National Park;
To determine the key threats to leopards in these regions;
To initiate leopard-human conflict mitigation measures, and increase local capacity to proactively manage conservation issues. ... oundation/" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

Hopefully someone with more insight into the day to day workings of Kruger can shed some more light on the subject.

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Re: Grumpy leopard attacks car...

Unread post by noel » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:06 pm

Hi Groot Krokodil
This is amazing, as I also saw the same leopard on the 2 of January this year, and it was doing the same things.
Apparantly there was a pipe of sorts under the road that it could use to go from one side of the road to the other.
It also attacked (mocked charges is more accurate) some people who had been sitting out of the window trying to get a better view.
You can bet they scrambled like mad into the car.
And yes it was a rather irritable leopard, it looked a bit gaunt.
I have a photo showing the quill embedded in its forehead so will see if I can post it here once I have downloaded it onto the" onclick=";return false; website.
I seem to think that you have to post them onto another website first (flickr, outdoorphoto etc) and then you can download to the forum.
I was rather concerned about attack so I made inquiries at Satara and the lady at the reception said they knew about the leopard, as well as the attack and would be sending a ranger to monitor the situation.
It seemed to me that the leopard was quite irritated at the number of cars there and luckily it could stay underground for long periods of time.
You should have seen the behavior of some motorists- they were driving and parking their cars well off the road and much too close to the leopard.

I hope the rangers get to do something about the poor animal.
And it will be great, Bert, if we can find out some more details.


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Re: Grumpy leopard attacks car...

Unread post by G@mespotter » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:41 pm

Hi there :D

Quite an interesting story, its true, NEVER ever play with any wounded animal :)

Today, I heared from other guests I know, who stayed at Letaba that they also saw a leopard attacking a vehilce. Not sure if it was one and the same incident, but apparantly, the leopard had a warthog's teeth stuck through his jaw....

This is all I have heared, and maybe I can lateron get some specifics, but it's possible that it might be the same leopard they have seen.
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Re: Grumpy leopard attacks car...

Unread post by skywalker2251 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:11 am

Here are Die Groot Krokodil's photos of the leopard.





Re: Grumpy leopard attacks car...

Unread post by zakiya » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:49 pm

HI All

A sad story indeed but also one that shows us the harsh realities of nature...

We made enquiries about this matter and one of our star scientists, Dr Danny Govender responded and I quote:

Dear Zakiya,

I collared this post-prime adult male leopard in the Nwanetsi concession south west of Satara in November last year. He was obviously losing his territory at that time, as since then he had moved great distances to where I finally darted him on Tuesday this week about 15 km’s North of Satara.
The project is being undertaken by the African Wildlife Foundation looking at leopard densities in the park as well as use of habitat by individual leopards.
This guy unfortunately lost the battle with the porcupine. He had a number of quills lodged all over his body and the infection that had set in was very severe.
He was in a severely debilitated state when we found him, we anaesthetized him and removed the collar and he was then euthanased. Unfortunately, he would not have survived much longer in the wild.

WE have found that by the time leopards start preying of porcupines, they are usually really struggling to make it, and are so hungry that they will risk catching a porcupine, which though it is an easy catch, may actually mortally wound them.

When we did a post mortem of him, we also found that both his lungs had collapsed due to a quill tearing open his thoracic wall.

Unfortunately not a great end so such a majestic animal.

Hope this answers your questions.

Dr Danny Govender
South African National Parks
Scientific Services


Would have been more painful if he had not been found I'm thinking. Hope this is a satisfactory answer guys...

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Re: Grumpy leopard attacks car...

Unread post by CuriousCanadian » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:20 pm

Sad story indeed...poor fellow....

A quick question....are the quills barbed?
Porkies over here have smaller quills but are barbed and will work their way farther into the animal....could the quill on his head have been causing some kind of brain injury?
One of my dogs got a mouthful of quills....we missed one and it poked out on her snout about 2 weeks later...came right through the roof of her mouth :shock:
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Re: Grumpy leopard attacks car...

Unread post by Imberbe » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:48 pm

No, they have no barbs.
They are straight, tapering on both ends, with the point pointing outwards being very sharp.
The point, pointing inwards is not that sharp and is hollow at the tip.

They also have different lengths of quills, some being very long.
It is the short, thick stubby ones at the back that causes the most severe wounds when the Porcupine rushes backwards in to his enemy.
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