Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Leopards illusive and fantastic

Leopards are probably the most illusive of the big five and sightings can be hard work to find for safari guides, but that makes them all the more special. I am very fortunate to have a close involvement with leopards as the manager of the Ingwe Leopard Research program, but nevertheless I still get a thrill every time I see a wild leopard. Or, as in this case a family of leopards.
There are many myths and stories about leopards and their behaviour, but as I tell all of our safaris guests, if there is one thing for certain it is that leopards change their behaviour to suit their environment.
I've heard many guides explaining that leopards are solitary animals that don't socialise, yet I have seen instances where five related leopards were together on one kill. And even seen a mother hand over her two cubs to the father while she went off hunting. Once upon a time I wouldn't have believed that could happen, but it did.
So what of the future of leopards?
Well the reason that I am so fond of them is that they can adapt to just about any environment. If we can deal with the human conflict issues, then leopards will survive and blossom.
Join us on safari and be involved.

Written by
Will Fox

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