Date of Birth: October 2004
Mother: Campbell Koppies female
Father: (old) Newington male
2009 – 2 Cubs – died at young age
2010 – 2 Cubs – recently independent daughter
Also known as the ‘Ripape’ in other areas, the Ostrich Koppies female was born to the Campbell Koppies female in October 2004. Her father was the now deceased Newington male, not to be confused with the (new) Newington male, who earned his name in May 2012.
She was a dominant force from early on in her career as an adult, and forged a territory between the Mlowathi and Matshipiri Rivers. She placed pressure on the White Cloth female as well as her mother, and they were forced to shift territories to make way for her. She had a twin sister who also made it to independence, but was tragically killed by the Styx pride in 2008. Her body was found in the Hogvaal donga. These lions would become a menace for her throughout her time – an unavoidable consequence of sharing a territory with a pride of lions. The Emsagwen male was also a leopard that was establishing a territory at a similar time as the Ostrich Koppies female. It was fitting that he courted the Ostrich Koppies female numerous times while he was alive, and he is more than likely the father of her first two litters. This is up for debate however, as she was also seen mating with the (old) Gowrie male.
The Ostrich Koppies female produced her first litter in 2009. Both were male cubs, and they both died in September and October of that year. Her next litter produced two cubs, and she managed to raise a female cub to independence. This cub’s sibling was killed by the same Styx pride. This surviving daughter was quick to become one of MalaMala’s favorites. She was incredibly relaxed around the Land Rovers, and would often sniff the well-travelled boots of the rangers as she passed. Since becoming independent we have seen very little of her, and hope that she will return to MalaMala one day. Currently her status is unknown.
The Ostrich Koppies female was lactating early in 2012, but subsequently mated with the Airstrip male on two occasions over the following months, suggesting that her pregnancy had failed. It was interesting to observe that the Ostrich Koppies female travelled a great distance from her core territory to seek out the dominant Airstrip male.