Where do leopards get their names from?

If you have ever been on safari you will notice, in most reserves across South Africa, that the guides will refer to individual leopards by a name.

This helps to identify specific animals and monitor their activities and movements. These names are often in the local language or in English and most often refer to something specific about the particular animal, which is usually either a characteristic or an area where they are found.

For example at Tanda Tula the resident female leopard we have around camp is referred to as Rockfig Junior. Her mother was known as the Rockfig female, and she was given this name as she loved to frequent an outcrop with a large Rockfig on it. Similarly, the Marula female was given her name as she loves lying in the branches of Marula trees.

Rockfig Junior’s cub has been named Nyeleti, which means stars in Shangaan. The local guides gave her this name because of her beauty.

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