A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to the leopards of Tuskers Bush Camp. We have yet to identify the individual leopards, but we can confirm that another leopard paid us a visit a few days ago. This is becoming a regular occurrence for Tuskers Bush Camp! With the aid of camera traps, we can now watch the nocturnal happenings in and around camp.
Our previous blog post highlighted three leopards navigating their way around the tents at camp. One leopardess in particular is quite fond of weaving in and out of the area around tent 2. But our cat sightings are not limited to leopards. We’ve heard the lions in the dead of night and we finally have footage of one of the males. We’re currently identifying individuals and finding out more about the lion prides of the area – watch this space!
The latest camera trap was set up on a road running through thick mopane forest. The road leads to a partially full pan of water. This time, we saw what appeared to be a lone male leopard patrolling his territory. We’re speculating that it’s a male, but we have to confirm this information. Males cover a wide territory which often overlaps with a female’s domain.
Toms will relentlessly defend their territory from other males in order to display ownership. They do this by scent marking areas and clawing trees. Toms seek out areas according to availability of females and density of potential prey. We know that there is a leopardess in our area, which means the tom may be here in search of female company!
Another interesting sighting picked up on camera was that of a huge male lion. We’ve mentioned that guests often hear the rasping, throaty roar of the lions contact calling at night, so it’s nice to finally put a face to a voice. Is this male part of a coalition? We’ll find out in due course. All we know for now is that the lions are emerging.
The small creatures also made an appearance on the camera trap. A porcupine is seen foraging and a hyena seems to be picking up on a scent. Where there are big cats, there are scavengers. Hyenas play a vital role in the ecology of an area. These notorious scavengers actually scrape up the bones and decaying meat from predator kills, thus preventing the spread of disease.
An entire array of species dwells in the thickets surrounding Tuskers Bush Camp and we’re going to keep you updated with all of our recent sightings.
In the meantime, let’s try to figure out the lion pride dynamics of the area!