Friday, 10 February 2017

The Cat Report: 3rd February - 10th February

Friday, 03 February

This week's cat report started out with excitement as Brent relocated the Investec Pack of Wild Dogs. But the afternoon quickly turned tragic when out of the bushes burst a Styx lioness. She sent the pack scrambling but not before she'd snagged one of the juveniles and all too quickly it’s life was over. 
It was a deeply emotional experience for all of us, but a true reminder that life in Africa is hinged on survival and anything can happen, around any corner, at any time. 



(Lioness and Wild dog Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown safariLIVE, Djuma)

Saturday, 04 February

The sun dawned and with the previous night's events still in mind, Brent set out to find signs of the wild dogs again, but all that was found on Djuma were the last remains of an impala kill. While it wasn’t as good as seeing the Investec Pack, it was at least a sign that they had had a good meal for the night.

James stopped in at the Styx pride but only 2 lionesses were there, no cubs around and the forlorn carcass of the wild dog remained untouched. 

(Investec pack getting ready to go on the hunt, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)
That afternoon the dogs had been found once again. The painted wolves rested in the shade until the blazing sun had begun to set. Then they were off and on the hunt, within minutes they had already killed a small duiker and a scrub hare. As WE began to lose light the dogs bounded off after a terrified nyala ewe before slipping into the growing shadows of the day and out of sight.

Sunday, 05 February

A royal beginning to the day with Queen Karula and the cubs taking a walk near twin dams despite the threat of a large crocodile that had taken up residence in the slowly filling dam. The cats kept their distance as they edged around the murky water. All three cats then disappeared. 
Later that afternoon Hosana and Xongile were found once again taking refuge from the sun under some dappled shade. A large elephant was bathing in the dam near by and soon came over to investigate the curious youngsters. The cubs dashed off into thick green grass and WE lost sight of them. A little further east Karula was found on the hunt. Yet it seemed the heat of the day was indeed taking it’s toll and she soon lay down in a dense thicket trying to stay cool.

(Hosana and Xongile relaxing near twin dams, Screenshot Credit: Gail Murphy, safariLIVE, Djuma)

In the heart of Djuma the dogs were at it yet again, they tore around in the morning mist killing more scrub hares and duikers before eventually coming to a rest near Vuyatela dam. That afternoon the dogs remained as painted logs while they slept off their early morning antics in the sweltering heat of another African day. Eventually it became too dark for us to spend any more time with them and WE headed off in search of other creatures of the night.

Monday, 06 February


(The duke of Djuma, Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Another regal dawn to the day with the young prince and princess, Hosana and Xongile. The cubs were once again located at their favourite haunt, Twin Dams. They played and bounded in the early morning light before scampering across the southern boundary.

A little further north the dominant male leopard of the area, Tingana, was found looking hungry and on the hunt! He stalked antelope after antelope, all of his attempts were however foiled at the last minute. He the resigned himself to marking his territory and sleeping on various termite mounds until eventually the heat of the day drove him into shady hiding.


(Crocodile and cats, Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Never smile at a crocodile, well Karula certainly showed her teeth to the huge crocodile at Twin dams on the sunset safari. The royal family investigated the reptile with hesitation and intrigue by the water’s edge but smartly moved off to find a more suitable dinner. 

Tristan found Tingana on Arathusa on the sunset safari, sleeping away the heat of the afternoon. 

Tuesday 7th Feb
(Brent and Xongile sitting in a tree, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The cats hit the snooze button on the morning drive and all WE found was a few cat tracks but the afternoon proved to be feline-filled. Brent had a spectacular sighting with Xongile on foot, who was very relaxed with his presence. 

James spent time with her majesty, Queen Karula who seemed to be on the hunt. 
Tristan trailed the lone Cheetah brother, who is still separated from his sibling. 

Wednesday 8th Feb

(Mfumo and his battle wounds, Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Jamie stumbled upon Hosana on foot, unlike his sister he was not as relaxed with the bipedal figure. Brent was called into the sighting and we enjoyed some time with the sleepy cat. 

The Tsalala pride were seen on Arathusa, Tristan commented that the cats were looking healthy and strong but could do with a meal.

Shadow finally returned to the screens of safariLIVE. Tristan followed Shadow as she did her evening patrol but shortly left as it got darker. There was lots of speculation as to the whereabout of her cubs.

Brent ended the drive with three of the Birminghams. Elephants chased them off Mala Mala and conveniently gave us a better look at Mfumo’s nasty new battle wounds. 

Thursday 9th Feb

(Thirsty Thursdays, Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

It was Tristan’s turn to have a leopard sighting on bushwalk. It seems like all the presenters had a feline on foot this week. Tristan found little Xongile sitting in a tree with a lurking hyena down below. Jamie took over the sighting as Xongile curiously investigated a possible hyena den before finding her brother, Hosana. 

Tristan spent time with Hosana and Xongile that afternoon, Karula came to fetch her offspring to escort them to their evening meal, however, Hosana was not interested in following mother and sister. Karula called for Hosana to join them, but sunset drive ended without any reunion resolution. It was reported that Karula had caught a young kudu after drive. 


Friday 10th Feb

(Shadow’s latest additions, Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Arathusa)

It was a cat catch up during the sunrise safari, Brent found the Nkuhuma’s briefly before they disappeared into Simbambili, they were looking a little anxious which may be due to the various lion coalitions movements recently. 

The royal family also graced us with their presence. Karula has a wound on her neck which we think may have happened during the night, we can only speculate it occurred from a fight or a hunting injury. 

And most importantly, WE had the pleasure of meeting Shadow’s two new adorable cubs on Arathusa. James suggests the cubs should be about 6 or 7 weeks old. WE were thrilled to finally meet them. 






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