The leopards in the Northern Sabi Sands are well known and well followed through various social media streams. A female leopard who we only started viewing in the last couple of years is an older female, referred to as Xiluva 2005 female. She has been relatively active in the north, and was even seen mating with male Leopard, Mvula, a while ago.

Image by Andrew Khosa

Image by Andrew Khosa

Details are still really sketchy, but we were informed that the leopardess was located yesterday evening, however she was paralysed (her lower body was totally non functionable). We suspect that she had been bitten and her spine snapped. It is known that she was able to fend off two hyenas who had attempted to get close to her during the night.

Image by Andrew Khosa

Image by Andrew Khosa

Image by Andrew Khosa

Image by Andrew Khosa

This morning, the guys went to follow up, and found the resident dominant male leopard in the exact spot where the injured female had been left during the previous safari with no sign of her. The vehicles left the area, and we headed up to investigate. There was no sign of either leopard, but Myke & Ephraim were persistent and after about 20 minutes of tracking, Ephraim called in that he had located the male leopard.

 

This was no ordinary sighting though, as the male leopard was actually feeding off the carcass of the female. We still cannot understand how the female got the 80m or so from where she was left to where she was being fed on. There were no drag marks, which would’ve been left had the male dragged her or if she had moved herself due to the back legs being non functional.

Image by Myke Glasson

Image by Myke Glasson

Image by Myke Glasson

Image by Myke Glasson

We are wondering whether she had cubs sired by the male known as Mvula, and attempted to protect them? We will never really know precisely what happened, but this is nature, and there are many things we will never fully understand