There’s a Leopard in my school

Some of the Tanda Tula kids go to the local school in Hoedspruit which is called Southern Cross Schools. It is a nature based school set on a 1200 reserve, so the odd animal visitor is not that unusual. The children are used to seeing nyala and warthogs feeding on the lawns, however things all became a bit more hair raising when a young female leopard decided to make it her home recently.

She was first spotted when the kids were moving from the classrooms down to the sports fields, quietly under a tree just taking in this wave of activity. It was assumed by all that she would not like the noise and activity and move off, but apparently this young female quite enjoyed the kids screams and non stop school action. She appeared to have no intention of moving on.

After lots of negotiation it was decided amongst the school board that the animal should be darted and relocated. This was not only in her best interest, but also that of all the children and their safety. Also so that classes could resume and things go back to normal!

Fred Berange is a local leopard relocation expert and along with Pete Rodgers, the world famous local vet, managed to capture this young beautiful leopard. Unbelievably they then brought her back to the school where all the children from ages 3 to 18 gathered round to watch this incredible procedure. In front of the crowd of awe inspired pupils and teachers she was darted and laid out for all to get a really close up inspection. The kids could ask whatever questions they had and were treated to a wonderfully informative talk by the experts. She was then fitted with a collar and relocated to an area with fewer inhabitants where she will hopefully realise she is a wild leopard not a school goer! 

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