Chiphadzuwa Tries to Reclaim Her Kill
We were on an afternoon drive when we came across the young leopardess, Chiphadzuwa. She had successfully killed a large puku which she had hoisted up a sausage tree. As she began to enjoy her meal it did not take long until the scavengers started to arrive. First a hyena, the number one scavenger in the African bush. The hyena waited patiently below the tree hoping to get some scraps of falling meat.
After about 20 minutes of watching this amazing scene, things took a twist. The hyena stood up and slowly made his way into some thick bushes. Then we saw why he backed off. Luambe the largest dominant male leopard had arrived silently. He surveyed the situation for a moment before he made his way up the tree. Chiphadzuwa retreated down the tree and to safety. Leopards are extremely good at scavenging food. They will often steal kills from each other, the winner is always the larger stronger leopard.
Luambe rested in the tree near the puku carcass and then after feeding for a while decided to descend the tree and go in search for some water. This was the moment Chiphadzuwa had been waiting for, who had stayed hidden nearby. As Luambe disappeared out of view Chiphadzuwa climbed the tree to try and eat some of the kill before Luambes return. However, Luambe had heard the young leopardess climbing the tree and came sprinting back into view. In a flash he ascended the tree making a deep guttural roar as he did so.
Chiphadzuwa quickly made her way to the very top of the tree to be out of Luambes reach. With being lighter she can go to the thinner branches which can’t support him. Here she waited and watched on while Luambe protectively covered the kill with his body, showing it was his. Chiphadzuwa calculated her way down the tree, looking for a quick exit behind Luambe and the kill. She managed to sneak behind him and out of harm’s way she waited on the lowest branches of the tree. Chiphadzuwa later moved off to rest in a bush a little way away, possibly waiting for her next opportunity to get her kill back.