The beauty of persistently, if even a bit relentlessly, following leopards is that you can catch them doing things leopards aren’t thought to be in the habit of doing. On Tuesday afternoon Thamba, who seemed to have managed to avoid Hukumuri thus far, also seemed to be seeking out a familiar face- that of his father’s. Tingana was looking full and healthy, waterbuck carcass close-by. Thamba, looking less full, tried to cajole Tingana to let him in on the action. Tingana may have been tolerant of Thamba, but he wasn’t exactly generous, snarling at him and taking the waterbuck up into a tree and out of Thamba’s reach. Then, showing the full extent of Tingana’s commitment to the Mexican stand-off, he urinated and defecated from the tree; it was as unusual as it was telling.
The next morning father and son were still in their respective positions. Tingana was still in the branches above while Thamba lingered at the foot of the tree, perhaps hoping to catch a falling bit of carcass.
Everyone who’s been panicking that the Duke of Djuma has abandoned his position in response to the formidable threat that has come in the form of ‘Chicken Medicine’ (otherwise known as Hukumuri), are likely celebrating. On the dam cam we not only saw Tingana, back from spending his week in Chitwa, dragging a freshly killed bushbuck behind the dam wall, but more importantly, he was seen scent marking and sawing. The Duke is back in the the heart of the property, proclaiming to all that he isn’t going to accept exile just yet.