Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The injured Leopard

The injured female Leopard.

It was early September & I was driving the S 114 dirt road. Suddenly, I spotted a Leopard crossing the track in front of me, but her gait was odd, she was limping badly. To my surprise, she plonked herself down right next to me, around 12 - 15 feet away!

She is young, less than five years old. 
Notice she still has some pink on her nose.

She then started to move & followed a scent towards me in the car, eventually stopping around six feet from my window!

She is interested in something!
She has found the scent of another Leopard. 
Almost certainly a male.
She is using her scent glands in her gums
 to identify the scent on the ground.
She looks like she is snarling but she isn't.
Still sniffing!

Still smelling the scent on the ground.

She knew I was there, but was very relaxed.

She eventually wandered off about about 25 minutes. She was limping badly in the back left leg & this was really hampering her movement. How this leg was injured is pure conjecture, as is the extent of the injury. Lets hope it was something minor & she is still alive today.
I felt very privileged to have spent so long alone with a leopard at such close quarters. Definitely one of the highlights of this trip.

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