Bellies full from a well earned dinner, we sat around the fire relaxing. It was a still night and we had been estimating how far the leopard was we heard calling not 5 minutes ago. Rustling about caught our attention near the clothes line only to behold a leopard! An inquisitive one with a fetish for laundry. I’ve never seen Pieter move so fast. He was gone in a flash, and suddenly back, camera in hand. One by one, she tenderly pulled each item off the line, first with a claw, then with her teeth, giving each one a sniff. Wet clothes on the ground, she started to roll. She would stop and smell, then roll again and so she carried on until each and every item lay on the floor in a crumpled mess.
You can imagine our excitement! Hours spent on a game drive vehicle, tracking this elusive creature, and here one arrives for our entertainment. Eventually the clothes line was cleared, and a damp carpet of sand and fabric lay under her. Her fascination now satisfied, she gave us a glance, slowly turned, and disappeared into the night.
It seemed to be Karula. She appears to be in oesterus by the activity observed lately. Calling for males, sniffing on scent trails. This is what a female leopard will do when she is ready to mate. Her sense of smell being heightened now, the smell of softener on the clothing was very tempting!
We observe these creatures daily in their world. When they enter ours, they create a sense of magic that lingers. That magic lingered all night long, and the chatter around the fire was that of childlike excitement. We cheersed a beer, and retrieved the clothes only to find a few small holes and tears. This morning when we showed Rexon the pictures, he recognized her.
The little temptress…!!
Written by Angie
(Note: I made a bit of a DNS mistake yesterday, and as a result the www.member4.mystagingwebsite.com URL is going to take another 24 hours or so to start working. Less haste more speed.)