The Bicycle Crossing male, at it again…

The Bicycle Crossing male, a MalaMala legend - Gary Hill

The Bicycle Crossing male, a MalaMala legend - Gary Hill

Over the past few weeks the Bicycle crossing male has been seen with female company, and on more than one occasion too! Over the past few weeks his partner has been a beautiful female that is still unknown to us. This time round the old stalwart had different company.  We were drawn to the toward the Tamboti thickets by the characteristic rasping calls of what can only be mating leopards. It was not long before we found the pair, resting on the open sand banks. It is great to see that female leopards are still recognising the Bicycle Crossing male as a dominant male, and are actively seeking him out to mate. Hopefully he will be able to sire more cubs to add to his impressive tally. The daughter of the Kikilezi female, son of the Dudley female, Airstrip male, Charleston male and the Tamboti female are some of his many offspring currently seen on the property.

The large male is looking as fit as ever - Gary Hill

The large male is looking as fit as ever - Gary Hill

The female leopard with the stained eye. We are still not sure of her history - Gary Hill

The female leopard with the stained eye. We are still not sure of her history - Gary Hill

It is always a tremendous privilege to see leopards mating, providing unbelievable viewing for those lucky enough to witness. The female leopard was the petite female with the unmistakable stains in her eyes, that give the impression of a false iris. Frustratingly, we also cannot determine the history of this leopard, but perhaps it is time that she earns herself the honour of being named! Upon confirming her identity, there was unfortunately an element of sadness introduced, as we realised that the female’s litter of young cubs has not been successful. The fact that she is mating is a clear indication that her litter of two produced earlier in the year has failed, and now she is starting again. One of the cubs died at a young age, whilst the other made it a few months longer. The last confirmed sighting was in August.

Bicycle Crossing male and female with discoloured iris - Matt Meyer

Bicycle Crossing male and female with discoloured iris - Matt Meyer

The male leaps out of the way of the vicious swipes from the female upon dismounting - Gary Hill

The male leaps out of the way of the vicious swipes from the female upon dismounting - Gary Hill

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