A Good Huntress is not always Successful

Recently, 6-year-old female leopard Marula has been hanging around Tanda Tula Safari Camp. She is one of the better-known leopards in this part of the Timbavati as she is relaxed around the vehicles which makes for fabulous game viewing. Not only is Marula a fairly good mother, raising her last litter of young successfully through to adulthood, but she is also a skilled huntress bringing down her prey most of the time.

Leopards are extreme opportunists, they will take down anything they can find that is edible and within reasonable size - from francolins and catfish to wildebeest and even baby buffalo. Leopards are solitary cats which means that other than when they are mating or have young, it is vital they adapt to the environment and feed off whatever is within reach. Marula is generally extremely skilled at hunting, but animals also have off days and earlier this week we watched her attempt three unsuccessful impala hunts. Every time, the elements were not in her favor and something would alert the impala to her being there, immediately snorting and drawing attention to all the other predators in the area of Marula’s presence.

The full moon almost upon us, it does not work in any of the predator’s favours. But this is nature and we know how adaptable leopards are, soon enough Marula will be successful and the Tanda Tula guests will find her up a tree on a kill.

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