A few days ago we had some incredible interaction between leopards and lions. The West Street male was the first leopard to be found looking intently in the direction of some impala. While watching the West Street male, we spotted the Newington male walking by at relatively close range. The Newington male did not notice the other leopard as it was crouched down and trying to keep out of sight from the impala. We began to follow the Newington male and we were led to where he had stashed a freshly-killed impala lamb. It was not long before a third male leopard entered the fray! The Princess Alice Pans male had arrived on the scene, and there was now a showdown between father and son, competing for the impala carcass. The Newington male could not defend his kill successfully and, although no actual fighting took place, there were many vicious snarls and growls exchanged. There have been many interactions between these two leopards, but this was the first occasion where we have seen such aggression. The Newington male eventually gave up and we left him moving eastwards.
Meanwhile, the Eyrefield pride of lions was resting within close range. The sounds of the leopard scrap would have been easily audible for them, and this caught the attention of one of the Manyelethi males. The male lion started to move toward where the Princess Alice Pans male was now resting. The lion was able to stalk toward the leopard unnoticed, and it was only once he was right up close to the leopard that the Princess Alice Pans male reacted. The experienced leopard easily outmaneuvered the clumsy lion. The speed at which leopards can move is incredible, at it was on full display here. The Princess Alice Pans male was even able to get in a few swipes at the lion before he sped off and climbed a tree.
The Manyelethi male soon lost interest and moved off to rejoin the Eyrefield pride. The Princess Alice Pans male then descended the tree to enjoy the last remaining scraps of his stolen kill, which he did in his usual casual fashion as if nothing had even happened! It was interesting to note that the lion was not even aware of the carcass! What a wonderful sighting for our guests!
Until next time,
The MalaMala Ranger Team.
PLEASE NOTE: Animals on MalaMala are named after their territories. This means that a) only the predators have been given names and b) we only know the animals according to the names we have given them, as they are based on the territories within MalaMala’s boundaries.