For those of you who have been to Thaba Tholo, you will know of Diamond Girl, the main female leopard on the reserve. She had two male cubs just over a year ago, and they have been getting up to all sorts in the last few months. They were called "large cub" and "small cub" as we don't want to name them because they will most likely be pushed out sometime soon by the leopard who is most likely their father, Big D.
Small cub game me a fright and a half a few days ago, when I was stood trying to see the antelope that were barking nearby. As I turned my gaze to the left, I made eye contact with the leopard the antelope had been disturbed by. Small cub was watching me from a mere 15m away, but showing only curiosity, there was no concern from him or me about how close we were. Only when I called for others in the camp to come and see did the leopard decide to move on. We followed him in a vehicle and were able to sit with him for another half hour while he tried (and failed) to hunt a kudu. He clearly still has a lot to learn, for example, don't stick your head out of the long grass when the kudu are close enough to see you.
Written by Becky Freeman