Thandi the leopard and her cubs, by ranger Cedrick Doldt

DSC_1156Image by guest Carine Lacombe

We have some great news about Thandi the female leopard. She has, once again, given birth to two new cubs here in the northern Sabi Sand Reserve.

We realised about 5 weeks ago that she had given birth, but did not know the exact area where she had hidden her cubs. About 2 weeks later, one of our rangers found and followed her until they identified where she was likely to have sheltered her babies. Although there was no view of the cubs, Thandi was “contact calling” – a very distinctive sound. We returned to that den site every day, and every day we would turn around and retreat after no sightings of the tiny animals.

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Image by guest Carine Lacombe
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Image by guest Carine Lacombe

 

5 weeks after she gave birth we had all pretty much lost hope of ever seeing the cubs, and even wondered if they were still alive. Then, one morning, as we were driving down the road towards one of the pans we found her. To our huge surprise she was carrying one of her cubs in her mouth. Boy were we excited about this discovery! We followed her for a few hundred meters until she finally came to a fallen tree and put the cub down.

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Image by guest Carine Lacombe

 

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Image by guest Carine Lacombe

 

As if the sighting could get any better…… Shortly after laying the baby on the ground, a second cub appeared from the thickets and joined its sibling and mother!

It was with great joy and excitement that we got to witness this behaviour and to be a part of the discovery of another generation of leopards at Arathusa.

Best part of all – we managed to get it on film. Enjoy!

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