Last night on the afternoon safari after our sun downer stop, we decided to drive in the area of Mamba dam hoping to find signs of Lions in that area. However, we had a bigger surprise in store for us, besides the seven Buffalo bulls at the waters edge.

My tracker Willies captured in the beam of the spotlight a young male leopard on the dam wall. As we approached it moved and we could immediately see that it had sustained quite a bad injury to his front left leg. It was limping very badly and stopped after a few metres to lie down badly hampered by this injury. One of my guests broke down in a crying fit, as she was overcome with emotion and all this we were witnessing just became to much for her to bear.

Predators often sustain serious injuries and find themselves severely injured after territorial fights, hunting or skirmishes with other bigger predators. This however does not always spell “DOOM” for them as we have witnessed numerous times, their resilience and ability to recover after what looks like fatal injuries.

We left with a feeling of elation at seeing this elusive cat bad also couldn’t help but feel sorry and worry about  its uncertain future. Only time will tell…

Sebastiaan Jansen Van Vuuren

Ranger – Kapama Main Lodge

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