Friday, 21 April 2017

The Cat Report: 14 April - 21 April

Friday, 14 April

Xongile was found stalking impala on Gowrie Main. Darkness fell quickly and WE didn’t see her make a kill but left her hunting in the rain. 

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Saturday, 15 April

Just past Cheetah Plains, camouflaged in long, long grass, Thandi and Thamba had hidden an impala kill (possibly from the day before). Keeping a watchful eye, Thandi and Thamba ate their fill.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Sunday 16 April

WE witnessed a very playful mother and cub interaction between Thamba and Thandi around a termite mound, in the same area we had found them the day before.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

On the appropriately named Cheetah Plains, the Cheetah Brothers were stalking impala. After being spotted by the impala they gave chase anyway then sat down and simply watched them.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Leopardess Shadow was found with her new cub on Philemon’s cutline, with Shadow giving the most heartwarming display of a mother’s love. At one point Shadow sensed danger, and gave a snarl to warn her cub into hiding. 

[Screenshot: Anna McDougald]

Love was in the air this evening between a Nkuhuma lioness and Birmingham Boy Tinyo. Having paired off and been flat cats for most of the afternoon there was a brief display of mating at the end of the sunset drive.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Monday 17 April

The mating pair from last night, Birmingham Boy Tinyo and the Nkuhuma lioness, were found having satisfied the two main interests of a lion’s life - that of food and that of procreation - with not one but two kills on Tripple M South. While lions do not often hunt during periods of courtship, they are opportunistic creatures and the sight of a sub adult zebra with foal must have been too good a circumstance to let slip by.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Xongile, having been harassed by a troop of baboons on Djuma Dam on the sunrise safari, had to leave her fresh supply of terrapin in search of another food source. On the sunset drive, Jamie followed her intuition as to where Xongile might go and WE had the most amazing glimpse of the young leopardess leaping from tree to tree in hot pursuit of an agile bushbaby. It was a lost battle but what a sight!

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Tuesday 18 April

WE were treated to an incredible sighting of a pack of Wild dogs feeding off a fresh nyala kill. James estimated the dogs couldn’t have brought it down more than fifteen minutes earlier but already most of the antelope had been devoured. A pack of 3-4 adults and some youngsters, they displayed some of intense social interactions typical amongst these tight-knit pack animals, with much sniffing and muzzle licking as well as some playful mating behaviour between two of the yearlings.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Further north, impala alarm calling interrupted Birmingham Boy Mfumo’s afternoon catnap.  

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Wednesday 19 April

The lions roared last night and sunrise began with the good news that Xongile had caught a duiker and hoisted her fine kill up a tree.

Tingana, in his spectacular camouflage, was discovered in repose in the long grasses of Vessels, at that time of day when a leopard begins his territorial patrol. There was a bit of yawning, followed by some sawing - vocalizing his sovereignty with the utmost of confidence. 

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

On the sunset Safari, WE sat for a bit with a Birmingham Boy who was flat but awake. He gave some smooth roars, provoking James into calling him the Cliff Richard of lions. It didn’t look like he was hungry, or preparing for a night on the hunt - but more that he was calling out and waiting for some answers. 

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Thursday 20 April

Dawn broke with the sad news that Xongile lost her duiker kill to one of the Birmingham Boys.

Later, on the low in the lowveld, Jamie spied on the Cheetah Brothers passing through Cheetah Plains.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Friday 21 April

South of the dam on Chitwa Dams, WE spent some time sitting with the lonesome Thamba who lay curled up in a ball while waiting for his hunting mother.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

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