Leopard Cubs

21st July 2012
We are lucky to have a very relaxed female leopard living in the nearby area. She has a huge range, so we're never too sure where she's going to turn up, but when she does, it's regularly with her two cubs! Now almost 6 months old, we've been watching them grow up and feed alongside her.

I found them one morning recently, and both cubs were on the lowest branch of a tall tree, although only the young male was in a good spot for photos. Their mother was resting under a thicket nearby.

Later that day, they hadn't gone far! Between him, his sister and his mother, they had eaten most of an impala carcass and were pretty subdued! Hyaenas were gathering underneath to clear up the bones, but the leopard family seemed fairly relaxed.

A few days later, we came across them again, but this time their mother had killed a baboon. The female cub was feeding in the fork of a tree and the male was relaxing on the termite mound nearby.

After observing his sister feeding on the baboon carcass, the male cub eventually climbed down the side of the termite mount and began daydreaming in the sun.

Both cubs will continue to receive handouts of food for a long while to come, sometimes sharing a kill with their mother. As they grow up, it will be the female cub who first becomes independent, while the male might associate heavily with his mother until he's 3 years old.

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