Killer Leopard....

02nd September 2012
We know many of the leopards in our surrounding area, and we often refer to them by the name of the area in which they live. One male leopard has no need of such descriptions since he's very distinctive - he's huge (I once briefly mistook him for a lion in the distance on a night drive!) and he missing one of his eyes.

I found him two nights ago right in the centre of his range, scent marking and patrolling. I left him heading south and beginning to hunt. The following morning, I heard from guides in the southern area of the park that he had covered around 10kms from where I'd seen him, and then got into a fight with another male. The fight was so severe (presumably about territory since leopards are fiercely territorial) that the smaller male was killed! The one-eyed male then began to feed on the impala that the other male had killed which led me to think that the dispute had been partly over food too.

Leopards are generally solitary, only coming into contact with one another to mate, or when a mother is rearing cubs. So to see an interaction was unusual, and to see one leopard fighting with another was extremely unusual. I went there the following afternoon and found the large male descending from a tree and pacing across a sandy pan.


Photo comment By Flavia: Edward, the killer is the same leopard that killed a female leopard when we were there? Or maybe it was not a female to be killed from a huge one-eyed leopard?
Photo comment By Edward: Yes, it is the same one, and I think that the 'female' he killed turned out to be a male! It was a shame that the carcass was removed as it would have been interesting to see how the story finished. As I think I mentioned, I was surprised to hear that he had killed a female, as that would be extremely unusual.
Photo comment By Flavia: Thanks for your answer! Yes, you told us it was unusual that a male leopard kills a female and that the whole story wasn’t so clear, in fact I asked you for this reason. I think that the Authority had to remove the carcass quickly to avoid that someone else stole it (to sell the skin).

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