The Cat Report 27 February - 2 March
Saturday the 27th of February
Exciting news from the bush as Scott managed to catch up with the new unknown male leopard seen exploring new territory around Buffelshoek dam. Camera Operator Wium (aka “eagle eyes”) managed to spot our skittish new companion as Scott made his daily rounds through the bush on the sunset drive. The cat is not yet totally comfortable with the presence of the vehicles and soon made his way into the shaded, dense thickets of bush. Scott kept well back and eventually we were able to get a great view of this reclusive leopard. Later on the bush telegraph it is made known that this male is affectionately called “Gijima” which means “run,” he was also observed scent marking in the area, a clear indication that he is making moves into the territory formerly held by another safariLIVE favourite, Mvula.
(Gijima male Leopard, Screenshot Credit: Jan Watkins, safriLIVE, Djuma)
Sunday the 28th of February
Another fluffy spotted friend joined us on the sunset drive with presenter Scott Dyson, taking the form of Tingana, the dominant male on Djuma and the eastern section of Arathusa. A number of small highly hysterical birds lead Scott to the leopard who was very fat and flat enjoying a little cat nap on the side of the road under a shady bush. Reports also came through about the tracks of the formidable Anderson male leopard being found on the western edges of the property. Scott went through to check it out but alas the only sign of the large cat was the paw prints he had left behind.
(Tingana male Leopard, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen, safariLIVE, Arathusa)
Monday the 29th of February
Chaos reigned, on this early morning sunrise drive as the Sands half tail pack of wild dog made their way through Djuma. The dogs coursed through the bush at full pace terrorising any and all that came across their path! The most terrified of all being one very unlucky female hyena affectionately named the “Scar-Back female” by safariLIVE viewers. The action all unfolded after the dogs had made yet another one of their brutal kills and the resident hyena clan decided this would be a good opportunity to make off with some food. The hyena’s were caught off guard and the dogs proceeded to make quite the example of Scar-Back in a show of dominance and payback for the stolen kill. Presenter James Hendry was present and didn’t miss a second of the high and disturbing action as the dogs chased and bit Scar-Back relentlessly. In amongst the melee a surprise was lurking in the form of the rarely seen black backed jackal. He payed no mind to the feuding dogs and hyenas as he slunk between the apex predators casually taking his pick of the forgotten kill. In true dog fashion, as soon as it began it was over and the dogs sped off to the north into Buffelshoek.
(Sands Pack Wild Dog, Screenshot Credit: Katrina Kissinger, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Later on the Nkuhuma pride of lions were discovered by Scott, simply relaxing near to the Buffelshoek dam. The ladies were fat bellied and flat when they were discovered lazing in the light of an incredible setting sun. Once the heat of the day had subsided the lions were up and slowly made their way down to the water’s edge for a drink, once their thirst was quenched it was back to bed and for the remainder of the sunset drive they lazed near the water as if enjoying a relaxing beach holiday.
(Nkuhuma Lioness, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Tuesday the 1st of March
Yet more excitement this past week as James discovers one of the Nkuhuma lionesses in the company of one of the once young and extremely good-looking Birmingham boys. Dominant coalition life it tough and after a few months of being the dominant males it clearly shows on the face of this individual. It is not know why the pair was travelling together, perhaps for company or maybe more amorous reasons. The pair were found flat in the middle of Cheetah cutline, but after James spent a few minutes with them they were up and off, mobile north. At the boundary between Djuma and Buffelshoek the male scent marked and the female continued on to our northern neighbors property. Unsure of what to do the male waited for a brief moment in the center of the road before following his consort. Once the lions had crossed, James travelled down Buffelshoek cutline and on the back of some information provided by Stef, finds a well concealed leopard kill on the boundary. There’s no evidence of the killer, but suspicions about his identity all centre around Gijima.
(Nkuhuma Lioness, Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Wednesday the 2nd of March
Lion tracks all over the show! Both Scott and James find evidence of the big cat’s everywhere! On Buffelshoek cutline there are tracks of an adult male leopard crossing onto Djuma. There is no confirmation of who the individual may be. To the south Scott finds adult male lion tracks, he follows closely and eventually came upon the same Birmingham male that was spotted the day before. He’s looking a little the worse for wear this morning, not that he looked too great last time, and is flat in the rising sunlight. No one was able to figure out how he got there and why he was there considering the evening before he had crossed some distance away. He remains flat for the morning but by the time the sun is setting he has vanished.
(Birmingham male Lion, Screenshot Credit: Claire Armendinger, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Thursday the 3rd of March
One of the Birmingham boys has been spotted to the east of Djuma. Updates indicate that he has had a limp for the last while and was observed still limping this morning. It seems he spent the morning doing what lions do best, sleeping and recovering. He got up at one point to have a drink and roared out his dominance before taking refuge in some nearby shade and nodding off.
(Birmingham male Lion, Image Credit: Andrew Khosa Cheetah Plains, Torchwood)