On Friday January 23rd I had the privilege to attend the Green Flag Award Ceremony for Eco-Schools in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
After losing the collared leopard I spent the week moving cage traps to other areas in the hope of capturing two other leopards to collar for research. During that period I worked with some of the guys from Singita’s guiding department. This was a very good exercise as I could see how well those guys know their area; it was as if they knew each tree or grass at a personal level.
Sunday January 11th – Tuesday January 13th: The last days
After Saturday the collared leopard moved 10 km south towards Satara and rested near a culvert, he probably used the road for protection from other carnivores as he was heavily compromised.
The collared leopard is not healthy!
Three weeks ago when I went away on holiday I went out on a few occasions together with the tracking team to track the collared leopard. He seemed to be doing well, but sometimes he looked a bit hungry. At that point I thought he might have been struggling to catch food.
I managed to capture another leopard last Wednesday, December 10th. On that morning I went out with the tracking team including Eckson Ndlovu, Johnson Mhlanga, Sipps Maswanganyi, and Glass Marimane. When we got to the first trap Eckson, Johnson and yours truly stepped out of the vehicle to go and check if the trap had caught anything.
We walked for less than ten steps and suddenly Eckson jumped up in front of me with his hands raised and pointing in the direction of the trap “Xhi khomile!” meaning “it caught!”