Nyeleti 4:4 Female
Date of Birth: 2004
Mother: Saseka Female from Simbambile
2008 – 2 Cubs – One female was killed by Newington Male north of Tented Camp. Other cub was Mbilo 2:3 Female who was dominant east of Marthly before being killed in Aug 2010
2009 – 3 Cubs – First seen at Southern Cross Koppies on 6th July 2009. 2 males, 2:3 & 3:3, and a small female, 4:3.
Unique Characteristics: Large female with a notched left ear.
A large devastating hunter, this powerful leopard is a descendent of Saseke Female, a territorial female north of our boundary. Born in 2004, she took over the southern and western territory of her mother’s in the beginning of 2008 – around the western Manyeleti River on northern Londolozi. In March 2008 she produced her first litter which was sired by Tyson the dominant male in the very far north of Londolozi. One of the 2 females in the litter was killed by Newington Male, a descendent of 3:4 female, who died in August 2009 after being badly injured in a fight with Camp Pan Male close to Camp.
The second litter mate stole the hearts of many guests and rangers. She was a beautiful leopard and was named Mbilo – meaning ‘Heart’ in Shangaan. Rangers and trackers were devastated to hear that she had been killed by the Majingalane males in Sep 2010 just north of our northern boundary.
On the 6th July her second litter was first spotted on Southern Cross Koppies. A litter of 3! Usually leopards produce litters of 1 or 2; litters of 3 are a rarity. Amazingly, this phenomenal mother has managed to get all three youngsters to independence despite the odds being heavily stacked against them, particularly the young female who could not compete with her much bigger brothers at carcasses. They have not yet dispersed, but all three are capable hunters and haven’t been seen with their mother for a few months.
What has helped her is that the Marthly male, the father of the youngsters , has been extending his territory southwards, putting pressure on the Camp Pan male and in doing so, ensuring that he is unlikely to come into contact with the youngsters and kill them. It will be interesting to see what transpires in the next few months as the youngsters get more adventurous. Perhaps the young female will inherit the vacant territory left by her sister who was killed by the Majingalane males. Hopefully the young males will stick around for a while before finally dispersing but their final destination remains to be seen.
The Nyeleti female has subsequently been seen mating again with the Marthly Male in November 2010, however she failed to fall pregnant.
What is in their favour, however is that their mother, the Nyeleti female, is a devastating hunter often leaving the cubs in the Nyeleti river for less than a couple of hours before returning to collect the cubs leading them to the kill in the vicinity.
But as the cubs have gotten bigger, their dietary requirements have become more and more demanding on the mother. Just prior to dispersal, she was required to kill for 2 subadult males larger than she is, her tiny female cub and herself – not an easy prospect.
In November 2010 she was seen mating with the Tyson male along the banks of the Sand River.