Monday, March 21, 2011

Karula's family tree - Her mate of choice, part two.

Hi everyone,

Quick update on Karula and cubs before we focus on the possible father! She was seen in the West with the cubs on a kill, but their meal was interrupted by hyena and by accounts they only just managed to climb a tree in time. Thankfully they are well, but it sounds like Karula is putting pressure on her daughter Shadow who has also been in the area. Maybe the boys are putting pressure on her in this area? We wait in anticipation to see how this will unfold!

As you saw from the last Blog, Karula's mate of choice is a shy one. With him being so secretive it is difficult to say for sure if he is the father of Mixo and Induna as well as the new cubs, but judging by his interaction with the boys it is highly likely he is!


One such occasion sticks in my mind as it occurred in the first couple of months I arrived at WildEarthSafari early last year. Do you remember the usual sighting of the family sharing a meal together? Karula with the boys, when they were 18 months old, feeding on a carcass and he was close by? The whole family were then disturbed as night fell by floppy ear and her hyena clan. Mixo and Induna fled and only just made it into the tree, while Yambilu-Jordaan took it in his stride and stayed put. Incredible sighting! This wasn't the first time he has been seen with Karula and the boys and I hope he makes an appearance with the new family too! 

WE may not see him often, but he never ceases to amaze us! Through out the mating between him and Karula in August last year, (seen here at night, which should make him the father of the 3rd litter ), Induna, then nearly 2 years of age, was in the vicinity. Instead of chasing the young male away, which is what we would expect, Yambilu-Jordaan accepted he was around and even spent time with him!


Over the last year I have seen a marked change in his behaviour. He has always been shy, even when he was first viewed on Wildearth in 2007. He would move away as soon as a vehicle approached, my first encounter with him was also very brief. Over the year I wonder if he has learned from Karula and the boys, he doesn't need to worry about the vehicles. When he has been with the family, he has stuck around with a vehicle present and maybe seeing them not react has rubbed off on him? What ever it is, it is working and he even seems to be OK with a second landy or cruiser sometimes nowadays, although a third is still too much for him to handle! 

As long as we continue to respect his space I am sure he will become more calm around the vehicles. He may not ever be as relaxed as Karula and the boys, maybe he had a bad expereince when he was younger or is just a naturally cautious leopard, but he is such a handsome male I think WE would all enjoy seeing more of him!

Thanks once again to everyone contributing pictures for the Blog!

1 comment:

  1. Yambilu-Jordaan is so beautiful, and I am impressed with him in so many ways. He seems to be an unusually gentle leopard as he tolerates the younger leopards and as he acts so peaceful around his mate, Karula.