Shenton Safaris’ Weekly Big Cat Roundup
This week’s Big Cat Roundup started when Andrew and his guests saw Malaika at the top end of Fish Eagle Lagoon. Later on, Patrick found Malaika with a freshly killed Impala and after that a male leopard Elliot(whom we did not see the whole of last year), joined the scene to investigate the chance of an easy meal, but soon lost interest. Also that same evening Sylvester came across another female leopard, young Chiphadzuwa on the opposite end of the lagoon. Obviously still looking to benefit form her mother’s hunting prowess.
Yoram found the Hollywood pride opposite Hippo Lagoon in the evening and then later found the collared female from the pride with a sub-adult male close to Acacia Loop while the other 11 were feeding on a Puku at one of our special sundowner spots. After they finished off the Puku, they began to stalk a baby Hippo out of the water, but mother Hippo changed their minds for them.
Sandford found a large male leopard Luambe hunting in the fish eagle lagoon, there was also a unknown female leopard following him at a safe distance. And close to this Sylvester and his guests found 2 lionesses and 1 sub=adult male from the Hollywood pride, unsuccessfully hunting Puku.
After this Sylvester was delighted to discover Luambe relaxed and resting on the branch of a Rain Tree(Philenoptera violacea).
Later in the evening 4 members of the Hollywood pride were found looking very well fed with blood on their faces in the area of Acacia Loop. Less than an hour later the rest of the pride, 9 members, were located at Big Bend on a fresh buffalo carcass.
At 19h00 Malaika was spotted hunting Guinea Fowl in a gulley at the bottom end of Fish Eagle Lagoon – but the Baboons spotted her and their barked alarm calls gave the game away.
Sylvester saw Malaika walking through Acacia Ebony Grove after drinking from the Luangwa.
The 13 strong Hollywood Pride were discovered feeding on the remains of the Buffalo that they had killed the night before. A lone male tried to muscle his way into the kill but the lionesses of this pride have become averse to interloping males, view Stealing from the Hollywood Pride.
Sylvester found a female leopard dragging a male Puku that she had killed, away from the Mwamba River. They returned after dark, to see her and an unknown male leopard fighting over the carcass that was now stuck in mud close to Mwamba Bushcamp. The female was very defensive and he saw that she was protecting the location of 2 very young cubs, secreted close by. A large female hyaena came in and stole the kill from the leopards, probably distracting the female long enough for the interloping male to find and kill one(possibly both) of her cubs! She was last seen carrying the lifeless body of one of her cubs . . ..
Female leopard Malaika was seen walking across lion plains towards Acacia Loop.
Whilst driving along the Boston Loop near the Chambo, Sylvester and his guests saw a lone male Lion strolling towards Chambo crossing. This is a new male, described as having no tip to his tail, a slit in his left nostril and a very dark mane.
In the afternoon on lion plains female leopard Malaika was seen by Sylvester right along side the road stalking some impala and puku unfortunately for her she was then disturbed by a large heard of Buffalo moving through the area. Later on that same night at Fish Eagle lagoon Malaika was seen again with her daughter Chipadzua and they were less than happy to see each other with some growling and snarling; luckily a passing hyena came in to break up the fight giving the two an opportunity to go their separate ways. Another male Leopard, Tyson was seen by Sylvester as he was returning to camp by Crocodile Loop turn off, he was seen scent marking heavily and calling constantly probably after picking up the scent of another male intruder into his territory.
That is all for this week; more to follow on the 6th.