Lockdown Leopard Litter
While the world is in lockdown, trying to curb the spread of Covid-19, life in the wild continues as normal. Fortunately for us, we have a few staff members who are locking down at Mashatu Game Reserve, keeping an eye on things for us. A special thanks to guide, Kaizer Sekanonyana and our resident photographer, Aubrey Tseleng who have both been sending us updates and some great photos and videos of life on the reserve.
Those who follow the Mashatu blog and social media, will know of the female leopard who is referred to as Mothoja (the one who walks with a limp). She’s a favourite among our guests thanks to her very relaxed demeanour. Mothoja had her first litter of cubs in 2017 and she successfully raised one female who left her care in late 2018.
Seen mating a few times over the last year, we’ve been waiting in anticipation for Mothoja to have another litter. Spotting her recently, Kaizer and Aubrey saw the telltale signs that she was nursing. Knowing that she is completely relaxed around vehicles, they have been taking turns to stay close to her for the last few days, hoping she would reveal her cubs to them.
Their patience and perseverance paid off and she led them to the den. While parked at a respectful distance, this adorable young and curious cub popped out a few times to see who was watching.
During these tough times, we all need some good news and what better news than Mothoja having a new litter. As yet, only this cub has been seen and we are hopeful there is another one that’s perhaps not as brave and curious, but that will show itself soon.
No one knows how long it will be before Covid-19 is under control and we can resume welcoming guests, but for this family, life will continue as normal. Welcome to the Mashatu family, little one.
Images and text by Aubrey Tseleng.