The Cat Report – Episode 1
Thandi is a 12-year-old leopardess that has stalked the verdant bushveld of Djuma for her whole life, successfully raising numerous litters of cubs. She is indeed the feline queen of this realm. Her latest cub, Tlalamba, is a playful little princess and at 9-months-old is rapidly growing and learning the ways of the wild.
Tlalamba is the daughter of the ruling duke, Tingana, a strapping and powerful dominant male also in his 12th year of age. His sovereignty was recently challenged when he sustained severe wounds that weakened his position and resulted in interlopers encroaching on his boundaries. But now Tingana is on the up and up again.
The monarch of the North Clan, a group of 70+ hyenas, is matriarch Waffles. She fought her way into the most prized position of power from a lowly rank and has commanded respect from her clanmates ever since. She is getting on in years, and her throne could soon be up for grabs with her only female descendant, Soup, a granddaughter, in the running. But another female hyena, Sauer, has her eye on the royal seat of domination so there could be a battle brewing.
While some hyenas squabble over kills, others have theirs pilfered from under their noses as the powerful Sausage Tree Pride of lions, led by the formidable and experienced lioness Kinky Tail, thunder onto the Cat Report stage. There is nothing as quintessentially African as a conflict between lions and hyena, especially in the middle of the day.
Kakenya is a cheetah adept at hunting the Thomson’s gazelle that hide out in the long waving grass of the Mara Plains. And for good reason. A seasoned mother, having raised four cubs to adulthood in recent times, Kakenya now has five tiny mouths to feed.
Released on December 7th, 2019
The Cat Report – Episode 2
In the second episode of the Cat Report, we meet the Duke of Djuma, Tingana, a mature, dominant male leopard who’s territorial activities secure the realm of the future Princess, his daughter Tlalamba.
Kakenya, the cheetah hunts the Mara Plains in the wake of losing her cubs.
The North Clan of hyena battle it out with rival clans and prides of lions in disputes over dinner.
And, a new member is added to the Sausage Tree Pride under the watch of dominant male lion, Kipuli.
Released on December 14th, 2019
The Cat Report – Episode 3
We meet Hosana, a four-year-old male leopard known as the Little Chief, son of the Duke, Tingana and half-brother to Queen Thandi, as he finishes his duiker breakfast up a big jackalberry.
The youngest member of North Clan is Sloth Bear, nicknamed “Pocket Rocket” for the way he rushes around with youthful exuberance but his mother is battling to relocate him to the new den.
Scott searches for Kakenya but after a week of no sightings, abandons his search in favour of following a splinter group of lions that has split away from the Sausage Tree Pride. He encounters the Owino lionesses returning from a hunt and the reunion with the other younger members of the pride is enthusiastic.
Released on December 21st, 2019
The Cat Report – Episode 4
The Little Chief, Hosana, is still making use of the local waterholes to find and ambush prey although his best efforts are somewhat thwarted at times. But practise for a young cat is what perfects the survival art.
Queen Thandi and Princess Tlalamba have to navigate around an elephant roadblock to find their dinner while James encounters Thandi’s rival, Xidulu, on a kill.
The North Clan rally together to take on a most formidable prey species… a young hippo!
With the arrival of the migration herds, the predators are having a heyday… but even though food abounds, the Sausage Tree Pride still has to muster the skill and strength to catch it and feed every mouth in the pride.
Released on December 28th, 2019
The Cat Report – Episode 5
Hosana is still refining his hunting skills and doing his best to monopolise every opportunity that presents itself in the way of a meal. But as if feeding himself isn’t enough of a task, his family members all seem to be taking it in turn to help themselves to his successes.
In this episode, we also meet one of the prides of lions that inhabit the Djuma woodlands – The Nkuhuma Pride – and with growing youngsters amongst their ranks with hefty appetites, it’s a good thing they are buffalo specialists!
Waffles has been keeping a secret… her bizarre activity patterns and isolation from the clan lately were clues to the fact that the matriarch of the North Clan has had a baby!
Kipuli strikes fear into most other male lions in the region and, with him courting the two younger Sausage Tree males as part of his coalition, he has definitely strengthened his position in the central Mara Triangle.
Released on January 5th, 2020
The Cat Report – Episode 6
Twelve year old leopardess Thandi is in her golden years and faces a progressively more uncertain future as time passes.
Kuchava, Thandi’s 4-year-old daughter encounters a hostile reception from her mother in the wake of an encounter with the Avoca Boys, the newly dominant male lions in the area.
North Clan members are checking their ranks with the arrival of Waffles’ cub but the hierarchy is stable under the leadership of this powerful matriarch.
Kinky Tail shows her hunting prowess by bringing down a wildebeest all on her own.
The Owino Pride is cashing in on the Mara bounty as the migration herds continue to pour onto the plains in their droves.
Released on January 11th, 2020
The Cat Report – Episode 7
The antics of the strangest leopard family in town continue as Hosana enjoys a rest on a comfy meat pillow, the squishy remains of his dinner, with hyena watching on.
Tingana engages with Thandi and Tlalamba in a rare moment of tender kinship.
The North Clan do what they do best and finish off the weak and wounded. A temporarily lucky zebra that escapes the jaws of both crocodile and lions finds itself mortally wounded and facing the dogged killing machines that are North Clan. But it doesn’t go down without a fight. The North Clan finish their kill under the envious gaze of the Paradise Pride, who watching from the opposite bank of the river.
It turns out that the matriarch of the North Clan has not one, but two tiny black cubs hidden in the natal den… and that spells double the trouble.
The lionesses of the Sausage Tree Pride take the bounty of the migration for granted and at the moment one hungry lioness is about to launch on her dinner, she discovers that no matter how exhausting the migration can be, wildebeest do fight back.
After Kakenya‘s disappearance, the Mara Triangle has been quiet on the cheetah front but Kakenya’s grown daughter, Naretoi, makes a surprise visit from Tanzania with her year-old male cub and they are hungry.
Released on January 18th, 2020
The Cat Report – Episode 8
We find Tingana, the Duke enthroned upon a termite mound at sunrise. He embarks on a warthog hunt in the early morning mist before having his efforts thwarted by a hyena.
Although Tingana himself is not above scavenging and readily steals a meal hard-won by his own son, Hosana, with little care for sharing it with him.
Waffles faces a unique challenge as far as her cubs’ survival goes… she has elephants on the roof of her den. The rest of the North Clan are slowly integrating into life at the natal den site, coming to visit and interact with their monarch.
Kipuli embarks on a long patrol across the Mara Plains and encounters another male in his wanderings. But it’s a tender, affectionate greeting when he discovers it’s one of the young Sausage Tree boys that he’s been courting as a coalition mate.
The Nkuhumas are back on Djuma and first appear on the screen as a pile of snoozing cats but this apparent laziness belies the ominous nature of their recent nocturnal activities. As they stalk the woodlands intent on taking down prey with well-oiled precision, even the Duke, Tingana is not safe from their attentions.
Released on January 25th, 2020
The Cat Report – Episode 9
We encounter Queen Thandi and her princess, Tlalamba moving through the bush and Thandi retrieves a kill which she promptly hoists up a gnarled apple-leaf with a convenient horizontal bough on which to enjoy their meal against the backdrop of a setting sun. Both young Tlalamba and the older yet still immature, Hosana, her half brother, have much in the way of navigating trees to master to reach the level of Thandi’s adeptness.
Ferguson Farms is the son of the matriarch of the North Clan, Waffles, and he shows us how to hunt down an antelope in the wet weather. While coursing back and forth at an impressive tilt, he becomes distracted when he happens upon an old kill. Mid feast, Waffles’ comes to investigate what her son is up to and to take a break from her boisterous cubs.
Three of the lionesses from the Owino Pride strike out and head towards the migrating herds. They are so well-fed at this time of plenty that they needn’t take much care in hunting and simply use the tactic of walking headlong into the masses of animals looking for a sign of weakness. The lion dynamics in the Mara Triangle prove to be in a constant state of flux as prides move to follow the food, abandoning territorial boundaries for the smorgasbord of herbivore.
The Birmingham Boys coalition of lions has left their mark on Djuma but in recent times, the erstwhile owners of this prime territory have pushed south and the three young but formidable Avoca males have claimed the realm as their own. The Avocas show up one morning to relieve the Nkuhuma Pride of a waterbuck kill and an uneasy standoff ensues with the females determined to establish some kind of treaty with the newcomers that does not endanger their youngsters.
Released on February 3rd, 2020
The Cat Report – Episode 10
There has been a constant food fight among the Djuma leopards of late. Hosana scented meat on the breeze, and followed it to Thandi’s kill. Her irritation at his arrival was warranted as she keeps losing out to other leopards at meal time. Until recently, her snarls have been enough to depose the younger male leopard but things are changing and in an explosive demonstration of speed and strength Hosana usurps her kill and it is game on.
Tingana finds himself in a spot of bother when he goes on a morning patrol that takes him on a trajectory straight towards a snoozing male lion.
At the North Clan den site we are greeted by an adorable face peeking through the grass that we assume to be one of Waffles’ cubs but it attempts to suckle a different female. Does the North Clan have another new member in the clan?
The Sausage Tree Pride boys have moved on choosing to stay with Kipuli and his conquests further south. Two of the females have been missing from the remaining pride, probably busy with conquests of their own and Kinky Tail has sustained a wound.
The Owino Pride females are out and about and we find them dragging a young wildebeest carcass in spite of very fat bellies.
Kakenya has steered clear of the migration madness, hunting the Mara-Serengeti border where the shorter grass attracts her favourite Thomson’s gazelles. We encounter her back inside the Mara and hiding in the grass with some Thomson’s gazelles moving straight towards her with no idea she’s there.
Released on February 8th, 2020
The Cat Report – Episode 11
Tlalamba seems to be flexing her independence muscles lately and has been giving her mom, Queen Thandi, the runaround. We were recently left feeling very tense when they seemed to have completely lost track of one another.
Little Chief Hosana finds himself precariously situated between two stages of development at the moment – strapping and mature he may look, but in many regards he is still a clownish cub prone to the whims of youthful mischief and discovery even while he goes about the necessary chores of survival.
The little Wafflets still have a long journey to maturity ahead of them but in the meantime, Jamie is enjoying magical scenes in the Mara morning light as the cubs explore on wobbly legs all around the North Clan den site.
The lion dynamics really get very interesting during the migration as the normal rules don’t seem to apply and prides split up and mix up as necessity dictates. Kipuli has had his hands full chasing off intruders trying to mate with his conquest, one of the Owino females.
Meanwhile, one of the five Sausage Tree Pride lionesses has been missing from the pride for the last two months. In a magical wildlife moment, our suspicions of her pregnancy are confirmed and two tiny little Sausages are introduced to our screen as well as to the pride.
Released on February 14th, 2020
The Cat Report – Episode 12
In Djuma, Brent catches up with Princess Tlalamba alone on a termite mound waiting for the Queen to return with her breakfast. Little Tlalamba is spending more and more time alone and but Thandi is never far away to ensure her offspring makes it to adulthood despite her adolescent attitude of defiance.
Meanwhile, the royal leopard kill-sharing saga reaches a zenith as Hosana, Tingana and Thandi are all implicated in tugging from different directions for their share of the meal war with the ever-present hyenas in the mix as usual too… as well as a newcomer!
The North Clan den is a hive of activity as the two awkward little black Wafflets continue to grow and develop. Returning to the den one morning, Waffles must delay her entrance when she detects lions in the vicinity of her vulnerable cubs’ hiding place and decides to wallow it out in a shallow puddle until the invasion moves on.
James finds himself up in the Maasai Mara with the very special Sausage Tree Pride that have formed a constant thread throughout our series and there have been some fascinating developments with them. A lioness is suckling young cubs believed to the offspring of Kipuli but since the birth of these cubs, Kipuli and his coalition have headed off towards the south and their void has been filled by two bigger males called the Ol Donyo Paeks. They’ve mated with the other three females in the Sausage Tree Pride including Kinky Tail and we now await the arrival of their offspring.
Released on February 22nd, 2020
The Cat Report – Episode 13
Tingana has proven himself the ultimate monarch in Western Kruger surviving his injury and near defeat at the hands of interlopers to emerge dominant over Djuma’s woodlands and is still very much superior over all other leopards in the region.
Hosana and Tlalamba must forge their individual ways into the future as they each become ever more independent and successful… something Hosana continues to do with much humour.
Jamie returns to SA to discover there is a hyena den on Djuma for the first time in over a year and so after having to bid farewell to Waffles and her clan, Jamie dives right into getting acquainted with matriarch Corky and her newest cub. But there is trouble in paradise as one of the new members of the Avoca male lion coalition sets his sights on Corky and her breakfast with devastating consequence.
For Brent, it has been amazing to spend time with the likes of the Sausage Tree and Owino Prides up in Kenya he is finding it equally awesome to be back in Djuma and spending time with Djuma’s resident pride, the Nkuhumas. The six subadults are growing steadily and as a collective, the Nkuhumas are living up to their reputation of being a buffalo-slaying force to be reckoned with. Things have been a little unsettled for the Nkuhumas lately because the male lion dynamics on Djuma have been in a state of flux with the original territory holders, the Birmingham Boys, moving south.
The three young Avoca males have moved in to occupy their turf in their absence. Tristan is catching up with the Sausages whose ranks are now reinforced with numerous fluffy cubs of apparently mixed heritage as different males have circulated through the pride.
The tail end of the migration filters out of the Mara under the watchful eye of every predator that must now turn to old ways to sustain themselves until the migration returns.
Released on February 29th, 2020