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Nature’s Corner – Encounter with a leopard

Oct 25, 2021

“Late one afternoon near the Malelane Gate in the Kruger National Park, a leopard looks straight at the camera while drinking water …”

This is André’s description of the experience he and his wife Katie had while filming this footage. He marvels at the way leopards seem to appear as if out of nowhere ‒ when they are not lying on a branch high up in a tree, their paths cross as in this case, unexpectedly, even mysteriously with those of privileged nature lovers.

Leopards may not be as fast as cheetahs, but that certainly does not mean that they are slow. Adults can reach speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour and jump distances of up to 6 metres.

Two to three cubs are usually born at a time and stay with their mother until they are about two years old. Each leopard’s spots (called rosettes) are unique and they can make a wide variety of sounds to communicate with each other. Females weigh up to 60 kilograms and males up to 80 kilograms. In the wild their typical lifespan is about 12 years, but in captivity they can even reach an age of up to 23 years.

Part of the mystery that surrounds them is possibly the result of them being mostly nocturnal (which makes this sighting even more remarkable) and spending most of their lives in solitude.

The footage has once again been provided by Katie and André of Two-V Productions. We thank them for their great videos. Please subscribe to their YouTube channel and follow their Facebook page. Books in their Op Vlerke series can be ordered from Kraal Uitgewers and will soon also be available in the shops in the Game Reserve’s rest camps again. Number four in the series has just been launched! Currently the books are published in Afrikaans only.

About the author

Alana Bailey

Alana Bailey is Head of Cultural Affairs at AfriForum

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