27 December 2017
Marula's cubs

We are absolutely thrilled to have discovered Marula, the beautiful female leopard who we view on such a regular basis, has given birth to two tiny cubs. She has made her den along the dry riverbed edge and hidden away in a thick bush. It is here that Marula is weaning her precious balls of fluff.

Over the past 3 years, this relaxed female leopard has really spoilt the Tanda Tula guests with some incredible sightings. Her easy disposition means she is unthreatened by the vehicles, allowing safari goers a close up and realistic insight into her world and behaviour. The guides do not have exact dates but estimate Marula to be around 7 or 8 years of age. They have been viewing her regularly for 5 years and during that time she has given birth to 3 sets of cubs that we know of.

The cub mortality rate is high. With hyenas, lions and even other leopards around, young leopards do not stand a very good chance of survival. In fact, Marula lost her last litter of cubs which is why we are so happy to see her breeding again so soon, and successfully. We estimate the cubs to be around 3 to 4 weeks old which makes them still extremely small and vulnerable. Viewing them is almost impossible as Marula will not allow them to explore outside of the den yet. If one is extremely lucky, you can catch a glimpse of a cub through the dense branches while it scrabbles over Marula’s stomach, or just the flash of a tiny tail. 

 

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