HWE Happenings

Please note that the one cuddeback trailcam is faulty and the time and dates stamps are not always correct.

 

23 January 2019

A runner picked up on tiny drag marks. Villiers Steyn joined myself and Katie to follow up , Vil did a great job of following the drag as the leopard had moved the kill hundreds of metres through some difficult brush. Turns out the kill was a house cat, I cable tied the cats leg to a stump and set up a trail cam. The leopard came back half an hour after we left and snapped the tie with ease. I only have this screen shot, no idea what I did with the actual shot. We were able to identify the cat as the resident female, Villiers named her Kalua, going off Vil’s days of running a project I think she is at least 8 years old now.

 

7 February 2019

The first trail cam shot I got of the male, Villiers had named him Mawusi.

 

 

6 March 2019

Chris Stamper picked up on drag marks and found the kill in a secluded area, a duiker. We set up a cam and tied the kill to a tree. The leopard returned at 18:00 and took one minute to remove the kill from its binds, the cat wasn’t the only visitor. It was Kalua.

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3 May 2019

Earlier in the year Katie and I were on drive when we saw a leopard bolt under the fence and out the estate, I set a camera up at this point and it proved highly productive. The hole was deep and thus Leopards, Hyenas, Porcupines and Aardvarks were partial to using it. At the end of April I noticed a leopard continually rasping outside the estates southern permitter , always in a reasonably close vicinity to the aforementioned hole. This went on for about a week before one evening another leopard responded. Presumably this is around the time Kalua’s cubs were conceived, as their estimated age likely matches up. It was a sad day when management closed up this hole.

 

23 May 2019

I had spent over five months working for a sighting of the male in particular, throughout his territorial reign he was very vocal and I would often hear him sawing. Getting eyes on him was a proper challenge. Finally I saw him whilst he rested a few metres outside the southern fence line.

 

23 June 2019

We had a brief sighting of Kalua and Mawusi as they exited the estate via a hole under the eastern fence line. The two cats spent far more time together than I had assumed they would. All we got of this sighting was aggressively average cell phone footage.

6 July 2019

The deep hole at the southern fence line had an area where I would be able to park the vehicle without inconveniencing anybody driving past, the vehicle was also sheltered by a shrub that I had noticed the female often walked past. The plan was to hopefully get her used to the vehicles presence. On this evening the plan payed off, Kalua popped out from behind the bush,  a couple metres from the passengers side where Katie sat and the leopard then crossed the road and went out of the property. Only cell phone footage of this sighting as well.

30 July 2019

I had hoped the female would enter the estate whilst I was at the entry point in the south, this may be a sign she is reasonably relaxed with my vehicle. This evening that happened.

 

5 August 2019

On this evening a leopard was continuously rasping from the northern side of the airforce road, I assume in pride lands. I parked the vehicle at the Drongo/Rotsvy junction and we listened. A leopard responded from the block just south of us. We decided to head to a hole under the eastern fence line, hoping the leopard would be heading for an exit. The plan worked out.

 

13 August 2019

A new female arrives.

 

29 August 2019

I managed to find the male resting outside the south eastern fence line

 

7 September 2019

We found Kalua walking outside the south western fence line. Belly looking like she may be nursing?

 

15 September 2019

The only daytime sighting I had of Mawusi, in the drainage outside the eastern fence line, an extremely skittish cat during the day, most frustrating.

 

17 September 2019

Mawusi spent a few days with the new female.

 

That evening Kalua entered the estate whilst I was parked near the hole.

 

19 September 2019

I headed to the spot before sunrise, saw Mawusi and the new female. Super skittish female.

5 October 2019

Mawusi in the river bed along the airforce base road, highly aggravated by another leopard rasping from the property across the road. Teeth very worn down.

 

16 October 2019

Saw Mawusi in the eastern drainage.

 

24 and 25 October

Saw Mawusi outside the southern fence line, on the 25th he stalked right up to the fence with warthogs just on the other side, no idea how he expected to get to them. This would be the last time I saw him.

6 Novemeber 2019

Mawusi decided to seek shelter under the bridge in the eastern side of the estate, during the day! He spent hours under the bridge.

 

10 November 2019

The last trail cam shots I would get of Mawusi.

 

11 November 2019

I heard Mawusi rasping south of our fence line as well as two other leopards, what sounded like Kalua and another male leopard, this is the last time I heard Mawusi rasp. Chris Stamper and I were chatting a few weeks ago and he said he had found drag marks on the same day, he and his son found the kill and set up a camera, The kill belonged to a female leopard but Mawusi arrived that evening. I looked at the video and was able to ID him, this is the last footage of him that I know about.

17 November 2019

A new male arrives, Villiers named him Mafu a couple years ago. He is Kalua’s son and is over four years old. I got another trail cam shot of him on December 10th but that was the last time I had any sign of him.

 

17 December 2019

Using trail cam photos I noticed that the new female was entering and exiting the estate. Early in the morning I was out to check my camera and she came running down the drainage toward me, unaware I was there. Luckily all ended well , I politely moved out of her way and she exited. Shout out to the waterbuck that alerted me to her presence.  I haven’t seen her or had any trail cam shots of her since.

17 January 2020

A cyclist had seen two small cubs a couple days earlier, this evening we saw Kalua. No luck with the cubs.

 

4 February 2020

I saw one of Kalua’s cubs at last light.

 

 

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4 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for your great work and these wonderful stories.Almost feels like i am in the bush.👍

    1. Thank you very much, I really appreciate the comment and I am glad you have enjoyed the write ups.

    1. Thank you, I hope the cubs survive as well. I will certainly be letting you know how they are doing if they have made it.

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