What a night I had!! I was only saying in the last Blog how great it was to see such a wide range of creatures around camp. I had been hoping, but never expecting, to see the leopard in camp, even less see them mating!!
I was woken with a start, hearing low growls right outside my room around 4am this morning. I sat bolt up right listening for any more calls, thinking maybe I was mistaken and it was a dream. Hearing more growling, closer this time, I leaped out of bed and went to look outside the front window hoping to see, what I thought was lions. On seeing nothing by the workshop, I thought I had missed them. Kicking my self for taking too long to go and investigate, I went to look out the side window, just in case.
As I lifted the curtain I saw two shadows move into the Moon-lite driveway and realised it was Karula closely followed by, who I can only assume was Yambilu-Jordaan. Still grumbling, Karula lye down on the road and allowed Yambilu to mate with her. Not lasting long. She turned around to swipe at him, but as large as he is, he was agile enough to avoid the blow. (I wonder now how many times it took him to learn this!)
With her suitor at a distance, she enjoyed a roll in the dust, no more than 5m from where I was standing, mesmorised by what I had just witnessed! All this time I had thought my presence had gone unnoticed, I was wrong! As she sat up, she looked over her shoulder in my direction and after a brief look, the couple disappeared back into the shadows, to continue their courtship. Leaving me amazed.... she must have known I was watching!
Written by Tara Pirie