Over the past few weeks, my favourite female leopard had been spending a great deal of time around my lodge. Her visits seemed to be for a very different reason.
Basile lost a litter of cubs in December. Shortly afterwards she was seen mating with Ravenscourt again. Fast forward two months and her swollen belly confirmed she was indeed pregnant again. I could simply not wait until she produced another litter.
There are a few viable den options around my lodge, either in the river, a thick drainage line behind the lodge or a rocky outcrop not too far away.
Word went out that she decided to use the rocky outcrop as a den site. Finally the day arrived. She gave birth to two little ones and kept them there for six weeks and then moved them closer to the lodge.
I have had a few glimpses of the tiny cubs. They are still too young to determine the gender of the little ones. One of the siblings has the most gorgeous blue eyes and spends a lot of time playing and interacting with the mother.
I do hope that Basile has learned from her previous failed litters and manages to raise these cubs successfully.