The Airstrip male leopard has sustained an injury to his left eye. We presume this was as a result of an aggressive encounter with the Marthly male leopard.
The photograph shows the injury clearly. At first glance it would appear that he cannot see through that eye, however, what you see is the inner membrane or inner eyelid, also known as a nictitating membrane. This eyelid, apparent in all cats, plays an important role in maintaining the surface of the eye. The photograph indicates that both outer and inner eyelids are badly bruised, causing the eye to appear shut. Upon closer examination, we noticed that when the Airstrip Male looked intently at an object, the nictitating membrane would fold back. This allowed his eye to be used normally.
We hope the Airstrip male recovers from this injury. Secondary infection is unlikely, but would worsen the condition substantially. Although we do know of other male leopards with only one eye, having survived such an injury, a full recovery is possible.