Game Warden

Show us your leopard pics...

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So, who wants to get the ball rolling? Please provide a little background info, where, when etc with camera details if you can remember.

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These have all been seen before in the retrospectives..

 

First, a fuzzy ingwe from the Sabi Sands in September 2001:

gallery_5746_232_292549.jpg

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Second, a young adult male from the same trip:

 

gallery_5746_232_86734.jpg

 

He was actually below us on a ledge of a cliff.

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And finally, a leopard at Kings Pool, Botswana in January 2004 warily keeping its eye on a pack of wild dogs:

 

gallery_5746_248_108366.jpg

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Here's a description of my sightings and a few photos.

 

8th November 2008 – Serondella full day

 

The most exciting sighting of the morning was when we came across a couple of Kudu staring intently into some thick brush. Then they barked some loud alarm calls indicating that a predator might be around. We were all scanning the bushes for any movement when Jim shouted “leopard!” After a few tense moments I managed to pick up on the cat, obtaining a very brief and obscured view. Wow! My first leopard sighting!

 

9th November 2008 - Savuti Channel

 

Upon arrival at our new campsite the heavens opened and we had quite a downpour and a lot of wind- part of the camp blew away- thankfully my tent stayed put! However, the weather improved sufficiently that we risked a game drive which was unsurprisingly a bit of a damp squib. That was until I spotted a second leopard, sitting up under a bush! We got better views of this one but in such poor light and at such a distance no photographs could be taken. The cat quickly stood up, turned and was off into the thicket.

 

12th November – Kwai to Xaxanaka

 

Best of all was when we came across another vehicle on the track watching….Another leopard! And this time he was close! He was sitting right by the road on a fallen tree. It was getting towards dusk and the light was failing, I was shaking so much that a lot of my shots were blurred, but he posed so well that I managed to get a few good ones. He left his tree and walked along the track turning off to the right then settled himself down on a termite mound. Ourselves and another group drove off road a little and parked right next to him. He just sat there nonchalantly as if to say “here I am, your model, take your shots!” We left him there after a short while as the light was failing and we had to return to camp. Our spirits were well and truly buoyed and the alcohol flowed freely than night!

 

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13th November 2008

 

We'd spent the first part of the morning with a pride of lions. The plan was to check out an area known to be popular with cheetahs but Moremi had other plans in mind for us when we came across a spotty cat heading straight towards us on the track. But it was no cheetah….. it was a fabulous male leopard in broad daylight!!! He passed right along one side of our vehicle and carried on along the track. We had the sighting to ourselves while Solomon radioed the lodge group to come and see it. We had to keep an eye on it so that the other group could see it (life can be hard sometimes!) and we watched him continue along the track, stopping occasionally to scent mark his territory. Soon though he found some cover under some acacia bushes and after he settled down for a rest in a thicket we decided to leave him in peace. But what a fantastic experience and all before lunchtime!! (Later on the same day the lodge guide who we’d put onto the leopard in the morning returned the favour when he found us another leopard up a tree! This one was smaller and more distant than the previous sightings so only a record shot was taken but still a gorgeous animal to see. We then returned to the lions who had moved position this time, now lying across the track, but decided it was all too much effort and had gone back to sleep.)

 

 

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Those are great shots everyone is posting.

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Agreed, lots of great leopard shots. I find them to be very expressive animals (anthropomorphically...)

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snik,

 

loved those leopard shots mate!

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Ken,

 

Is it that young male? that's always a bit north of camp?

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Hari,

 

Some are the young male, the early ones are from 2005 of a very young female, and some are another female.

 

We have seen at least one Leopard on every single stay at Lebala that's 8/8, contrast this with Zib/Selinda where we saw one in 6 visits. Our only other good sightings were in the Mara, so it is not just Cheetah and Wild Dog.!

 

Zamin,

 

Thanks! We have been very lucky.

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This is my favourite shot of mine. i have some others too I need to find out. Hope you enjoy ;)

 

Saw her in the mara in September 2008. Taken with a Panny FZ18.

 

post-6256-1263910741_thumb.jpg

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Sniktawk, the lighting and clarity of yours are really fabulous...

Whorty, what is that she's got, a squirrel?

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Hari,

 

Some are the young male, the early ones are from 2005 of a very young female, and some are another female.

 

We have seen at least one Leopard on every single stay at Lebala that's 8/8, contrast this with Zib/Selinda where we saw one in 6 visits. Our only other good sightings were in the Mara, so it is not just Cheetah and Wild Dog.!

 

Zamin,

 

Thanks! We have been very lucky.

 

Ken,

 

I've missed Leopard just once at Lebala. I have a perfect record at Kwara, however.......

 

Cheetahs - I've missed them just once. However, again perfect record for Kwara.

 

Wild dogs - I've also missed them just the one time. Although, a dodgy record of dogs at Kwara - still, Two in a row most recently!

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Rickmck - she has a Springhare (you can just make out the head on top right of body and long legs). She had already killed this when we arrived - we sat with her for about an hour but she didn't eat it which we thought strange. Anyway as other cars turned up (as they do!) we moved on to let them get a view - we found out later that she had a cub in the area whom she fetched later and gave the hare to.

 

She was very relaxed with us - she jumped off the mound a few times, walking around the place. All the cars sat on one side of the mound so she always had one half of the mound to escape if she ever felt crowded.

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Here's the photo on my credit card! Taken at Mombo 10/07

 

 

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Jan

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"Here's lookin' at you, kid."

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Here's another view of this handsome young male, G.W.

 

 

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He just posed and posed----typical male!

 

 

 

Jan

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We saw a male cub at Mombo in 1996. Maybe the young male from 1997 is the same leopard................

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Bella - Rekero - September 2006.

 

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Duma Tau - September 2008 guided by Theba

 

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Olive - Rekero - September 2009 with Daniel

 

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Kenya - Sarara - singing wells - September 2009

 

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Wow, so many fabulous leopards, people! Keep 'em coming...

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Ken, I remember Helena's video of this sighting.

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Here's some of my favourite Leopard images from the last few years.

 

It's hard to believe these cubs are from the same litter, however cats in the wild frequently have multiple partners and because of the way their reproductive system works, it is possible for each kitten in a litter to have a different father.

Cats are induced ovulators, meaning that they drop an egg when stimulated by the breeding male.

The female on the left is quite dark with Cheetah/honey colored eyes, whereas the male is much lighter with the more standard olive eyes.

Photography (and tracking) was not easy in the thick Acacia thorn scrub and yellow grass.

Very cute nonetheless!

Deception Valley- Central Kalahari GR. Botswana

 

D3 500VR 1/350s ISO200@f/4.8

Sis & bro

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Sisterly love

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Curiosity

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D3 500VR 1/1000s ISO400@f/4

A 3yr old very inquisitive male Kalahari Leopard, Deception Valley Lodge

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Big Boy, the resident huge 4yr old male from Mapula Lodge relaxing in a tree in soft evening light.

D3 500VR 1/125s ISO400@f/5.6

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He had just been snacking on a Zebra foal that he killed the previous night, hence the attention of all the flies.

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We spent over an hour with mum and her two 3mth old cubs, in the Sth Luangwa NP whilst staying @ Tafika camp.

This was pure joy, sitting quietly observing these three.

D2Xs 300VR 1/250s ISO400@f/2.8 + BB&flash -1.7EV

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Not too close!

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The female Leopard, Shangwa poised to jump.

Leopard Hills- Sabi Sands GR- RSA

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Cheers

Marc

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Marc - lovely shots - a real inspiration.

 

Looking at your equipment I was wondering if you had any experience with the 600VR?

 

Thanks for sharing

 

Nick

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Great additions to the thread Marc, thanks for posting: that last image, with the light, is wonderful. Is it fill in flash?

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