Born: October 2000
Mother: White Cloth female
Father: Rock Drift male or ‘Tjololo’
2005 – 2 cubs – independent daughter
2008 – 1 cub – independent son
2011 – 2 cubs – 1 female currently dependent
The Matshipiri female is yet another well-known leopard of MalaMala, and progeny of the famous ‘Tjololo’. She was born in October 2000 to the White Cloth female. The Matshipiri female had a twin brother that reached independence, but that disappeared soon thereafter. His status is unknown.
Her first litter produced an independent daughter that moved off the property. Next, she was able to raise a son to independence, and he stayed with his mother for a prolonged period until he eventually moved away from his mother’s territory when she gave birth to her third litter in November 2011. This male was always slightly nervous of vehicles. It would seem that he has moved off to become territorial in the east. The Matshipiri female’s most recent litter produced two cubs. The male cub died at a young age, but the female is doing very well and is set to become territorial in 2013.
The Matshipiri female’s territory extends from the Matshipiri River, eastward into the Kruger National Park. She moves north to Clarendon Dam and her most southern boundary lies around the MalaMala//Flockfield boundary. Interestingly she has repeatedly chosen a set of rocks in the Hogvaal Donga as a den site for her cubs. Rangers do not frequently navigate her core areas, which means she is not seen as often as some of the other leopards.