Compiled by Bertus Potgieter
In this months report we will spend some time talking about one of the most beautiful yet one of the most elusive of all the big cats in Africa, the Leopard. This spotted feline just so happens to be the main predator on Pongola Game Reserve.
Due to the fact that there are no lion prides on PGR the leopards have very little competition for food, and as a result there are really healthy numbers of these stunning felines.
Being the worlds most widely distributed, but one of the most seldom seen cats means that they must be doing something right. The way they became the most widely distributed big cat include the fact that they have evolved to be mainly nocturnal (night active) or crepuscular (dawn and dusk active) in some areas. They have also evolved to such an extent that they can survive almost anywhere, as long as there is sufficient prey available. Water is also important but they do obtain moisture from their kills as well.
A heavily built and quite stocky body means that they possess the strength to hoist their kills up into the trees which also gives them a slightly bigger chance of not losing their hard fought meals to other predators like lions or hyenas.
Males are mainly solitary and have huge territories which overlap those of several females, the two will only get together for the courting and mating process and after the romance has died down they part ways again.
After a - 100 day gestation period the female will give birth to a litter of two or three cubs which will leave moms side at 18mths to 2 years.
If you are walking in the bush and you hear a rasping (almost sawing of wood) sound, then you know you are hearing a long-range call of a leopard.
Now that you know a little bit more about the leopard, why not make Pongola Game Reserve your next break – away? And who knows? Maybe spot a leopard , or at least hear one.
Greetings until next month!