Leopard In Ruaha, Tanzania

4 February 2010 | Jo Jenkins | Tanzania

The recent sight of a male leopard just outside the Camp raised our ears and made us think more about Mdonya Leopards seen in the area around the camp this last year.

Leopard Females sightings are most frequent here. During one of our most gripping experiences with leopards in 2009, Eva Voogd managed to get this shot mentioned as “best picture of 2009 from Mdonya Old River Camp”. That evening a family of three leopards was seen, but only one of them, nicknamed Ceci by us, exhibited a special confidence with cars: jumping almost on the roof canvas. At her attempt, with all of us holding our breath, the tree didn’t offer the stability necessary to make the leap. Maybe next time we will find out if our roof canvas is leopard resistant!!

Mdonya Males: on the 13th of January 2010 Massimo Dameri’s patience was rewarded. At a distance of 30m the leopard was half covered in the green grass. A few minutes later the leopard made its way to the car. With the leopard 5 meters away in the open, a beautiful portrait could be made of this young adult leopard.

Last August 2009, a huge male leopard was caught by our trap cameras.  Comparing with Massimo’s leopard, the different body masses show clearly that it was two different animals and a zoomed analysis on the spots confirms it.   So is Mdonya Camp territory of two male leopards?

It is not unusual that leopard territories partially overlap. It has been recorded in Tsavo that leopards share as much as 70% of their ranges. Scratching and scraping ground, spraying urine are avoidance mechanisms as fights can be cruel.

In any case more has to be investigated about the Leopards of Mdonya.

Written by Jo Jenkins

Jo’s enthusiasm for safari as a child when her parents worked in Zambia, then Kenya. Jo quickly fancied herself as a safari expert and has been a keen game tracker ever since. Although, more recently, she is very keen to trial many of the (more luxurious) beach lodges we now offer.

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