Unusual leopard situation

05th June 2014
While out in the bush with my parents recently, we came across a situation of 4 leopards in one place. I had only my 500mm lens so didn't manage to get a photo of all 4, but my father did. The strange thing was that the mother with her two cubs was joined by her 3 year old male cub from her last litter.

The male is very well grown and a formidable cat, as I discovered on a walking safari a while ago (!), and it was surprising to see him playing with the small cubs and relaxing around them. It was more strange that the mother would allow it to happen. Leopard males are usually independent from the mother at around 2 years old, although they will share in meals together, but not often when the female has new cubs. She must have a strong bond with her son to trust him to play with the cubs.

Here one of the cubs greets the male.

And then both cubs drink with the male in the background.

The male watches as the family cross a clearing.

Then the family settle down as the heat rises.

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