The West Street male and Newington male have had yet another interaction. The similarly aged leopards have had a few clashes in the past, as they attempt to establish themselves as territorial leopards.
The Newington male has made more progress in this regard, and he has started to scent-mark. This is a huge step for the leopard, and trouble is surely on the horizon as he is scent-marking within the territories of the Bicycle Crossing and Airstrip males. He is lucky that his father, the Princess Alice Pans male is fairly tolerant of his presence, but the other male leopards are not going to be pleased with his antics. The handsome West Street male had still made no further progress in earning himself a territory. His movements have been no different to what we have seen previously, as he slinks around the confines of West Street Bridge, Buffalo Pans, White Cloth and Flockfield Tower.
We found the West Street male moving about on the western bank of the Sand River. One vehicle that was making its way to view the leopard came across the Newington male, who was clearly following the scent trail of the West Street male and was in hot pursuit of him. It was a never going to be long before the Newington male eventually tracked the West Street male down. The West Street male stood his ground at first, and the leopards snarled fiercely at each other. The West Street male then decided that he was not interested in conflict; clearly backing down as he crossed the river eastwards to try and shake off his shadow. This was not enough for the Newington male, and he continued to follow aggressively. By now the West Street was perched on the high riverbank, gazing toward the Newington male and watching as his challenger sized up his options. The Newington male was undecided whether he should cross the river. He paced up and down, looking for a suitable point to cross.
Eventually he took the plunge, wading into the water slowly at first, before awkwardly pouncing up and down and emerging on the other side resembling a drowned rat! The game of cat and mouse was on, and again the West Street male retreated. We have never recorded the Newington male on the eastern bank of the river, and we expected that he might receive more resistance now that the West Street male was on more familiar turf. This was not to be, and he was chased across the Matshipiri River, which eventually satisfied the Newington male, and the leopards parted ways. This is certainly not going to be the last time that these leopards have an altercation, and we predict more confrontations between these young guns in the future.