When you are in a densely populated leopard area, it is only a matter of time before they start to clash.
It has been a long while since I’ve seen Hlabankunzi. She used to hold territory around Leopard Hills and has started making her way back. Unfortunately she got forcefully removed from her last territory by her own daughter, Scotia. Hlabankunzi came off second best. Her right ear got ripped off and she sustained an injury to one of her paws.
She has aged a lot, but at 13 years old, Hlabankunzi still puts on a good show. As I left a sighting of her recently, I was called back only to see another leopard stalking Hlabankunzi.
As I came around the corner I saw Boulders female trailing Hlabankunzi. Boulders has become one of the dominant female leopards in the area. I assume she was heading back to her two cubs that she hid away while hunting. Unfortunately Hlabankunzi found herself in Boulders’ territory. She was completely unaware of Boulders’ presence.
Hlabankunzi moved up onto a termite mound to rest for a while. Boulders snuck up behind her and calculated her next move. Hlabankunzi eventually caught sight of Boulders and both females immediately started growling at each other. Neither really wanted to get injured. Boulders must have realised that she still had hungry cubs to feed so she just moved out of the area.
I’m not sure how much time Hlabankunzi still has left, but at least she managed to survive another day.
What a privilege it is to get to know these animals so well!
Yes Anne it really is something special.
Such battles can be very fierce and brutal and their next encounter might not end in stalemate…
Wonderful images, Cal.
Thank you Dries, glad she made it out.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Pingback: a leopard named ravenscourt – Wild Adventures Blog