The Weekly Cat Report 5th – 11th March
Saturday the 5th of March
An incredible start to the week! We sadly said goodbye to presenter Scott Dyson and director Nicki Austin, but as the magical pair enjoyed the last of their endless safari on Djuma private game reserve, none other than Karula came out to send them off in true bush fashion. Another exciting moment as fresh suckle marks were spotted on her white, fluffy belly. This is a clear indication that her cubs are alive and well!
(Karula female leopard with clear suckle marks, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Sunday the 6th of March
The Nkuhumas were found today and yet again they are one member short. The ladies were flat but not looking too fat this evening. James sat with the ladies until the final moments of the sunset safari. Despite the promising yawns and leg stretches the ladies could barely manage a few meters before collapsing in exhaustion. It was proposed that they may have hunted during the night yet no discovery was made of them the next day until their tracks were discovered crossing out of the property.
(Nkuhuma lioness, Screenshot Credit: Hélène van Dijk, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Tuesday the 8th of March
Another wonderful afternoon is spent with the lions. It started off when safariLIVE presenter Jamie located one of the Birmingham male lions. She trailed him for a period before he plunged into a warthog burrow head first and one large dust bath later emerged with a dead warthog clutched firmly in his jaws. The warthog had perished in the burrow prior to the lion finding it and is suspected to be a rather sickly individual that has been seen recently on safariLIVE. The lion fetched his kill in the shade of a thick bush where he began to pick at the carcass. As the sun sank beyond the mountains he was then joined by 4 of the Nkuhuma ladies. The undesirable kill was abandoned and he tagged along for the remainder of the sunset drive. Not far from this location Brent caught up with the 5th of the Nkuhuma ladies. It turns out to be Amber eyes, she called to her pride repeatedly into the darkness (watch video here). Reports indicate that the rest of her pride was moving directly towards her.
(Nkuhuma pride lionesses, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)
An update on the Leopard cubs of 2016
Karula has been spotted a number of times this week in the company of her two new bundles of joy! WE haven’t been able to secure any images of the cubs as of yet, this is due to the restrictions that have been in place on entering sightings with this beautiful cat. It has been decided amongst expert guides belonging to WildEarth, guides from Djuma as well as Djuma management that the cubs should not be viewed intentionally by any vehicle. Once she has been spotted this needs to be called in and the area zoned so as to give these precious new additions the time they need to develop. Once the cubs are of an age where they are self sufficient enough to escape from a situation in which they feel uncomfortable we will be able to view them on safariLIVE, there is no clear time frame for this but WE all are looking forward to seeing the balls of fluff in the near future and from there, watching them grow and develop.
Karula however is not only a mother again, but a grandmother too! Reports from Arathusa indicate that Shadow has also given birth and is currently at a den site in a thick drainage line on Arathusa. There has only been one confirmed sighting of this elusive cat and her new babies, a large area of the drainage has been sectioned off until the time is right for the cubs to be viewed. Great and exciting times are ahead for the leopards of safariLIVE!
(Shadow female leopard, Image Credit: Diane Wales-Baillie, Aperture Africa, Arathusa)