Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Latest news of Karula and the cubs and other Djuma residents.

Hi everyone,


I can't believe another week has passed by so quickly already! WE have caught up with our favourite leopard family since the last Blog. The first was thanks to the other residents around Gowrie dam insisting something was there to eat them! (They weren't far wrong!) As we arrived at the open area outside the lodge on July 7th morning drive, a blurred streak of black and gold ran towards some guinea fowl causing them to take flight, complaining at the indignity of by chased by a cub. The young male looked around and was eager to try his luck again, but realised all the birds were now out of his reach and with the monkeys continuing to call, there was nothing else to do but go and reflect. 


Caterpillars of the "procession worms" moth. 

WE noticed the little female walking in the same direction as her brother, eventually joining him not too far from Inga's house and both settled down to soak up the warm early morning rays. 

Little female enjoying the view from the branch.
Other vehicles were interested in seeing them so we left and joined them again later on dive as Karula arrived to collect her family. In typical Karula style, she strolled less than half a metre next to Ganda, not even batting an eyelid, with the cubs following! WE followed her progress around the shoreline of Gowrie dam as journeyed North, passed the rooms at Vuyatela and into the drainage line close to FC!   

3 Tree Squirrels
The cubs were seen the following day at Sandy patch, but it was already getting dark so WE didn't respond to the sighting. Towards the end of morning drive on the 9th July we found fresh drag marks of a kill and leopard tracks which looked to belong to Karula on the fire break close Sandy patch North. We had a look around the area but sadly couldn't find her. One of the Vuyatela guides had continued the search and found her and the cubs just West of where we had been searching in the morning!

Blunt horned female. 
It is possible what she had caught was small or they had eaten part of it before it was stolen as their bellies looked like they had seen some form a small meal! Either way she was determined to go and hunt again. Leaving the cubs once they were in the low signal area, WE caught up with Karula 10 minutes or so after she left them. WE found her on Buffleshoek cutline by Sidney's dam, taking her time, she eventually crossed over to the North. I hope she was successful in her never ending quest for food!


We have also had some great sightings with elephants, the 4 majestic bulls out on the open area were incredible, just chilling next to us! 

I think the 6th rhino in the crash is probably the blunt horned females son who we use to see her with. He looks to be the same size and horn length and he has joined the crash roughly around the same time she has had her next calf. He looks about 3 and half maybe 4 years old. I hope he stays with them for a while at least! WE also had a very rare view of 3 female ostrich!


Thanks to everyone sending in pictures again! 
Written by Tara
















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